Parents bear significant obligations towards their children, including providing the financial security they need for their welfare. This obligation, legally known as child support, is crucial in ensuring a child’s well-being. Regardless of whether a child’s parents split, they are still financially obligated to financially support them until the age of emancipation unless they agree to continue support until college or professional school. However, when a parent provides an unsafe environment or is deemed unfit, the court may terminate their parental rights. When parental rights are terminated, the parent no longer has any rights towards their child. Parental rights can also be terminated if a parent voluntarily surrenders them. As such, the termination of parental rights can impact a child support order. Please continue reading to learn how child support can be affected if a parent terminates their parental rights and how our knowledgeable Bristol County Child Support Lawyers can help you today.
When will the court remove parental rights?
Generally, terminating parental rights is the court’s last resort to protect children and preserve their best interests. However, they will take parental rights away if the court determines that a child is in an unsafe situation or is subject to neglect or abandonment in their home after reasonable efforts to work with the parents to improve conditions for the child. Unfortunately, there are various grounds that the court may deem appropriate to terminate parental rights to safeguard a child.
Parents can also voluntarily surrender their parental rights when they put their children up for adoption or when another potential guardian is interested in adopting them. However, before the court allows a parent to surrender their parental rights, they will ensure that the parent has fully considered their decision as they relinquish all of their rights to their children.
Will I still have to pay child support if my parental rights are terminated in Massachusetts?
If you decide to sign your parental rights away, you are forfeiting all of your rights toward your child. Therefore, you will no longer hold certain legal obligations. This includes child support. If you relinquish your parental rights, you will no longer be financially obligated to support your child. However, if back child support is owed after parental rights are terminated, they will still be liable for paying the outstanding support.
If you’re currently facing a situation in which terminating parental rights has become necessary, you need to enlist the assistance of an experienced Bristol County child support lawyer. At The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C., we are prepared to help you understand your legal obligations to prevent facing civil and criminal consequences.