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Non-Custodial parent in Florida is being asked to forfeit rights in exchange for child support termination. What are my options?

Saint Petersburg, FL |

My son will be 7 next month and has lived with his mother exclusively since she and I split up when he was 1. Once our relationship ended she moved back to Missouri/Kansas with my son without my consent. She established residency there and filed for sole custody, which she was granted. I was unaware that any of this was taking place. Fast forward 5 years and I have only been able to see him a handful of times (maybe 2 or 3). She recently got married and is wanting me to forfeit my rights to him and she will terminate child support. I do pay child support however, there is some outrageous figure in arrears. I'm not sure if the support order should have been issued due to her leaving Florida with child under false pretenses and without my consent?

Attorney Answers 4


Your options are to agree and allow her husband to adopt your child. At that point, all child support obligations cease. If you owe arrears, those will not be excused unless it is specifically stipulated to in the termination of rights agreement. You have to make the decision whether you want to do this or not. If you terminate your rights and allow her husband to adopt, it will sever the blood lines between you and your child. You will have no rights or obligations from the date of the termination forward. You should really speak to an attorney and have them review any paperwork you have received regarding this matter. Good luck.

B. Elaine Jones, Esq.

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If you consent to terminate your parental rights so her new husband can adopt the child child support obligations will terminate as well. However, any arrears that are in place do not get terminated usually unless there is a stipulation regarding same.

If you do not want this to happen I would recommend getting in touch with a local attorney and discussing your options more at length.

You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-354-5223. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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I absolutely do not want to terminate my rights! That's the last thing I want to do. I guess what i'm trying to ask is do I need to file for a support modification? She's pressuring me into the termination because of the arrearages, threatening jail. Was the support order ever valid in Kansas?


Just and excellent summary of the law in this regard by Ms. Jones. It's really up to you. Kind of makes it harder, doesn't it?! Do you have other chlidren? Will you?

Bill Rosenfelt 407-462-8787 (Orlando/Longwood/Central Florida)

Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.

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If you want to sign over your rights in exchange for zeroing out the arrears then you can do that as part of the deal. Make sure this is all reduced to writing.

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