Under NE child support laws if parent gave up parental rights does parent have to pay child support

Asked about 6 years ago - Omaha, NE

I gave up my parental rights to my 14 year old daughter. I pay child support.
I just received an order to put her on my healthcare plan. Do I have to do this? I can't afford to be responsible for her healthcare bills.
She lives with a foster mother in Oklahoma. Her dad also gave up his rights to her.
Please don't judge, just help.
Thank you

Additional information

More information:

I'm paying the state of Oklahoma. I went before the court and legally gave up my parental rights.
Now, I'm being ordered to put my daughter on my healthcare plan.

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Birney O'Brian Bull

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . In answer to your Additional Information:

    Again, I have to emphasize that I'm not familiar with Oklahoma or Nebraska law, since I'm licensed only in Georgia (born and grew up in Atlanta). Are you represented by an attorney who can address your situation? It would be best for you to find one if you don't already have one.

    As both Mr. Hendrickson and I said previously, it sounds like all that really changed was >custody< of your daughter, and that you actually still do have parental rights --- otherwise, the court would not have the power to order you to add her to your plan.

    Is there some ongoing plan or goal of reuniting you and your daughter? Of her possibly being returned to you? Based on what you've said, there >should< be. And there again, that wouldn't be possible if all of your >parental< rights were gone.

    Mr. Hendrickson mentioned the possiblity of appeal, and of course that may still be viable. But (in Georgia at least) such appeals are very, very rarely --- very rarely --- successful in reversing the decision below.

    Finally, no, it doesn't sound like you will be responsible for bills that aren't covered by the insurance plan you have been ordered to put her on. Requiring you to provide insurance is one thing; ordering you to pay for bills NOT covered by that insurance would be a different thing over and above providing the insurance, and would require an additional provision in the court's order.

    But again I would urge you get help from an attorney who can help you in NE and/or OK. If that is prohibitively expensive, there should be a legal aid office in your area that can help.

  2. Michael E Hendrickson

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . If you're still paying child support it appears unlikely that you "gave up (your) parental rights to (your) 14 year old daughter" as you contend, a process which normally would require a formal termination of parental rights by a court of proper jurisdiction.

    And, therefore, if your child support order is still valid and binding, and it has now been properly amended to include a requirement that you place the subject child on your healthcare plan, you must abide by this order or appeal it, if there is still time to do so.

  3. Deanna L. Siegel

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . Even though your parental rights were surrendered, unles there was a specific direction that you would no longer be responsible for child support your obligation to pay child support and provide financially for your child continues until the time that she is adopted and someone else assumes the full legal responsiblity for her. If she is never adopted then you bear the financial responsibilty for her until she reaches the age of majority (in Nebraska this is age 19) or is otherwise emancipated. The father should also be paying child support.

    Did you go to court for the court to direct health insurance coverage? If you did, did you present financial information about the cost. If you did give the court this information then you are likely to have little remedy. Parents are responsible to provide health insurance coverage if it is available and affordable. You can always file a petition asking the court to modify the health insurance order. You will need to show that you cannot afford to pay for the coverage. You need to go to court with information from your employer that shows what the cost of coverage is to you now and what the increased cost is to put her onto the plan. You may be able to get the Judge to determine that the cost is to great and that you are entitled to an order that says while it is available it is not affordable. You should take this step asap because you are unlikely to get money back after it is paid out for the insurance and the orders which direct the provider to set up the insurance are put in place very quickly.

  4. Birney O'Brian Bull

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . If you are required to pay child support, and to provide medical insurance, your parental rights must still exist. And if >your< parental rights still exist, maybe the father's do too, and if so, he should be subject to some of these kinds of duties as well as you. Maybe you could do something to help the system put a fair share of the legal burden on him. I'm not licensed in NE, or OK, but I doubt their laws would conflict on these points.

    On her "healthcare bills," I assume you mean the cost of adding her to your plan? It doesn't sound like you have been ordered to pay her co-pays, deductibles, uncovered medical bills, etc., just the monthly cost of putting her on your plan (and if you already have "family" coverage, it may cost little or nothing to add her).

    I know these aren't the answers you wanted, but it doesn't sound like there's any way around these obligations. You may not have >custody< of your daughter, but it sounds like your parental rights still exist, and if they do, the court >can< order you (and her father) to contribute to her care. Other than making sure her father is required to do his share, the best thing you can do is to think more about how these things help your daughter than about how they hurt you.

  5. John M. Kaman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You may be able top give up paternal rights in your state but you can never give up your paternal obligations which include child support up through the age of 18 in most states.

  6. Deanna L. Siegel

    Contributor Level 13

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . Oklahoma's age of majority is 18.

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