Legal Question in Family Law in Washington

I have a child with a woman out of wedlock. she has agreed to terminate my parental rights, but she has not seen an attorney yet. she is stalling. can I initiate the process or paperwork

Asked on 7/01/15, 10:29 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys


It depends. There are many factors to consider in your situation. It sounds like you may be trying to eliminate a child support obligation. So, the first thing to consider is this: what is the financial situation of the mother of your child? Is she completely able to support and care for this child without any financial support from you or the state? Is she employed and able to support herself and the child from her employment income? Any judge that the petition to terminate parental rights comes before will take a hard and long look at the mother's complete picture from a financial and personal perspective. Is the mother in another relationship? If so, will that man be willing to adopt your child? Once your parental rights are terminated in Washington State, your obligation to support the child is terminated, you have no rights of visitation and the child cannot inherit from your estate and you cannot inherit from the child's estate. So, even if either you or she initiates a petition to terminate your parental rights, the weight of the law is against you in that the state would have no one to obtain child support from if the mother ends up needing public assistance or becomes disabled or has any other such problem where child support from the other parent, you, would help to take care of the child's needs for basic necessities of life, i.e., food, shelter, clothing and education. The law in Washington State is that both parents of a child have a legal obligation to support any children born to those parents and the courts are extremely reluctant to eliminate one source of support for any child without there being some unusual circumstances to justify such an action. Good Luck!

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Answered on 7/03/15, 11:04 am

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