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If Someone signs over their rights to there child, do they still have to pay child support?

Boston, MA |
Attorney answers 4


It depends. If you are signing over your rights to the child and someone is stepping into your place by adopting the child then you won't have to, but if no one else is adopting the child then you most likely still be ordered to pay support.


Karla Mansur, Esq.
Law Office of Karla M. Mansur, LLC
81 Middle Street
Concord, MA 01742
P: (978) 341-5040 / F: (978) 401-0687


I'm not clear what you mean by "sign over their rights to their child". If you are voluntarily terminating your parental rights, that usually happens when someone else is adopting the child. The Court will not allow you to surrender your rights simply to avoid child support.

This answer is intended for general informational purposes, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Thank you for your question.

Will somebody be stepping into your shoes and adopting the child? Our office handles co-parent and step-parent adoptions, and it is sometimes the case that a parent will surrender the child and consent to his or her adoption by a new parent.

In any event, your obligations and rights with respect to the child are not terminated as of the date you sign the surrender or relinquishment, but are effective upon the finalization of the adoption of the child by another. In other words, keep paying child support until the child is officially adopted.

Christopher Vaughn-Martel is a Massachusetts lawyer with the firm of Vaughn-Martel Law in Boston, Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law and the limited facts presented by the questioner. All answers are provided to the general public for educational purposes only and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer, and obtain advice and review of your specific legal issue, please call us today at 617-357-4898 or visit us at


If a person's status as legal parent to a child is terminated by a court, that person can no longer be required to pay child support. A person cannot just voluntarily ask a court to terminate his or her legal rights to a child. Termination of parental rights usually occurs in an adoption situation.

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