Written by attorney James Robert Emerson

You Cannot Sign Away the Rights and Responsibilities to Your Children

My ex-spouse does not want to be in our child’s life, can he or she sign away their parental rights? The answer is, it just isn’t that easy to erase a parent’s rights and responsibilities of a child.

Recently the Indiana Court of Appeals stated, “The concept of parents negotiating away parenting time as a means to eliminate the obligation to pay child support is repugnant and contrary to public policy." Furthermore, the Court added, It is incomprehensible to this Court to imagine that either parent would ever stipulate to give up parenting time in lieu of not paying support. Just as allowing an agreement to contract away a child’s right to support must be held void, an agreement to contract away a child’s right to parenting time, where the presumption that such parenting time is in the child’s best interest has not been defeated, must also be held void as a matter of public policy. Every child deserves better than to be treated as nothing more than a bargaining chip."

If you or your ex decide that signing away your rights to a child is a good idea, you better think again because the Courts are not going to side with you. There are many ways to arrange parenting time and child support to meet both of your needs and the requirements of the court. Contact an experienced family law attorney to assist you in arranging parenting time and child support that comply with the law.

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