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If I forfeit my parental rights, am I still required to pay child support?

Tampa, FL |

My ex-wife has spent the past several years turning my daughter against me by filling her young, impressionable mind with lies. I have not seen or spoken to my daughter in over 4 years yet I continue to pay child support. She has made it extremely clear that she wants nothing to do with me and has threatened "legal action" if I try to contact her again. I've tried everything to have a relationship with her but she literally hates me. If I forfeit my parental rights, am I required to continue to pay child support. She has a step father in her life.

Attorney Answers 2

  1. No, once you give up your parental rights, you no longer have to pay child support. However, be careful and remember that these things have a way of coming back to bite you later once you give up your rights. You can't go back later and ask for them back usually.
    Speak to a local lawyer to find out more about your rights and responsbilities.

    Good luck.

  2. As a general rule, under Florida law, you will not be able to avoid paying child support by "forfeiting" your parental rights. Even if you voluntarily terminate your parental rights, you will still be liable for your parental responsibilities/duties such as child support - unless and until someone else steps in your stead by adopting the child - so unless the mother's new husband adopts the child (or someone similar) you can end up in a situation where you have no time-sharing/visitation rights, but are still required to pay child support. I would suggest you contact a Family Law attorney in your area to discuss your particular situation as it sounds as if the Mother has been engaging in a pattern of behavior associated with Parental Alienation Syndrome and you will likely need assistance in establishing/enforcing your time sharing rights (as well as evaluating your ongoing support obligations).

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