Frequently I've heard it said that John Doe is “signing his rights away to avoid paying child support.” I don't know where this myth came from, but it is simply wrong. In Texas, there are grounds set out in the Texas Family Code that state the reasons why a parent's rights might be terminated. Avoiding child support obligations is not one of them. A parent must be found unfit in some capacity, having abandoned the child, failing to pay child support for over six months, being incarcerated and therefore unavailable, and the court must always make this determination. If it were as easy as simply filling out a form, family law would be an entirely different animal. Thankfully, it is the court's job to figure out what is in the best interest of each child in each unique situation.
If John Doe is indeed seeking to voluntarily terminate his parental rights, there are a number of things he must do. First, John Doe has to file a petition, submit an affidavit, serve the petition on the other parent (and any other interested parties), and then attend a hearing where the judge will ultimately decide what happens. There is no such thing as simply “signing over rights” to a child. Biological parents have certain obligations to their children that are not easily relinquished in Texas. If you are facing a challenging family law situation, don't go at it alone. Contact an experienced attorney who can guide you through this challenging process. The Law Office of Kimberly D. Moss would be glad to speak with you about your options. Give us a call at 713-574-8626.