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How can I get a non-custodial parent to sign over their rights?

Crystal Lake, IL |

My daughter is 6 and hasn't seen her father in almost a year. He continues to be over $15,000 behind in child support, hasn't attempted to see his daughter and also skipped court for visitation when HE took me to court for it. He drinks every day and continues to not support his obligations. Paternity has been established by the State of Illinois and I do receive medicaid and link benefits. He has stated in the past that he would sign his rights over if I wanted him to. How would I go about doing this and approximately the cost?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Best answer

    the only way to do this is for you to have someone else and you together file a petition to adopt the child. dad consents to the adoption. he has no more financial obligation going forward. he still owes all the arrearages and since you are on aid, the state will pursue him. he cannot go bankrupt on this. there is no statute of limitations on collections. he owes interest at 9% simple until paid in full. the interest on the 15,000 is 112.5 per month.

    he has no right to visit after the adoption.

    he cannot just voluntarily sign over his rights unless there is an adoption for him to consent to.

  2. There is a form for voluntary relinquishment of parental rights. You should see a family lawyer. You likely want to keep him on the hook for child supportand want to collect support if you can.

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

  3. Parental rights cannot be terminated by a private person. This can only happen by order of court upon a petition from DCFS or the State's Attorney's office. The only exception is by consent or finding of abuse in the course of an adoption procedure. The father's child support arrearage continue to accrue unless and until his rights are terminated.

  4. I would urge you to consult an experienced family attorney. Your child's father can indeed sign away much if not all of his rights to his own child, but this will not likely affect his child support obligation. The "rights" are regarding decision making abilities such as educational permission and consent for the child to have medical treatment. Also these "rights" are largely custody and visitation focused.

    You are writing that your child is receiving taxpayer subsidized medicaid and LINK. Why would the State allow the taxpayer to help subsidize your child and allow the actual father to not pay child support? He can waive his rights all he wants, but his child support obligation is another matter entirely.

    Good luck.

    This answer is marginal legal advice and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Every client and case is unique. The best advice is to always consult with an attorney. Free legal resources at

  5. He cannot just relinquish his paternity unless you have another father ready to adopt your child. The state will not allow a child to be made fatherless unless the state takes the parental rights away for neglect or abuse.

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