In Georgia, parents are obligated by law to support their children financially. However, there are certain situations in which this rule may not apply. If you are a parent in Georgia and have questions about the financial obligations to your child, an experienced family law attorney can help.
Terminating Parental Rights in Georgia
There are a variety of circumstances where a parent’s rights may be terminated from their child. For example, if a child is getting adopted, termination of rights may take before or during the adoption process. When children are formally adopted, the legal relationship with the child’s legal or biological parents ends. The parents adopting the child then assume the responsibilities and rights of the previous parents, which includes the obligation to provide financially for the child. A parent may also have their rights to their child terminated by the court involuntarily. This involuntary termination of parental rights may occur in the following circumstances:
- The parent has abandoned the child.
- The parent has subjected the child to aggravated circumstances.
- Leaving the child with their parents is likely to result in serious physical, mental, moral, or emotional harm to the child.
Termination of Parental Rights and Child Support Payments
Once a parent’s rights to a child are terminated, the former parent is no longer required to pay child support. Because a parent’s legal responsibilities and rights are terminated once the court terminates parental rights, this also terminates the financial obligations they had to care for their child. This termination also terminates their obligation to pay child support.
If the court believes that a parent has purposely abandoned their child in order to avoid any obligation to pay child support on an ongoing basis, the court may refuse to terminate the parent’s rights. Termination of parental rights is not something that is taken lightly and is one of the most severe legal remedies that a state can impose on a parent. Georgia will only terminate a parent’s legal rights under extreme circumstances.
Some of the reasons that the court may terminate a parent’s rights to their child include the following:
- The parent has given written consent to voluntarily surrender their child for adoption.
- The parent failed to comply with orders for child support for at least 12 months.
- The parent has been convicted of murdering the other parent of the child.
- The parent abandoned the child.
- The court deems there has been parental misconduct or inability.
Contact an Experienced Georgia Family Law Attorney Today
If you have questions about parental right termination or rights to your child are attempting to be taken away, contact the attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law today to schedule a consultation. We will work diligently to ensure that you get the results you are wanting regarding your Georgia family law matter. We will be with you every step of the way until your issue is resolved. If you have any family law matters taking place in Georgia, contact us today to schedule a consultation.