There is a widespread belief among non-lawyers that it is possible to “give-up” or terminate parental rights so that your child support obligation ends. Another common belief is that it is possible to terminate parental rights because a parent doesn’t pay support or doesn’t have a relationship with the child. There never has been and probably never will be such a procedure. Virginia treats visitation and support completely separately. Parents are still required to pay support, even if they never see their child. Parental rights are a duty, not a privilege that a parent can simply give up when it is convenient to them.
How to Terminate Parental Rights:
There are two ways to terminate parental rights. First, there is a process involving the Department of Social Services that can terminate parental rights. This happens in cases involving child abuse or neglect. Second, a step-parent adoption can also terminate a parent’s parental rights. This means that your new spouse steps into the position being vacated by the other parent.
You can ask the court to enter Orders providing for custody and visitation. This may have some, but not all, of the effects of termination.
We can help you with all of your custody, visitation, support and adoption needs at Commander Law. Call (757) 533-5400 to schedule your consultation today!