Asked in Family Law, Adoption, Child Custody and Child Support for Missouri

Q: I am wanting to know more about terminating my parental rights. My son is almost 13yrs old.

I am about 40k in debt due to child support. I have supervised visits(2-3hr drive) one hr a week from a 2007 court order. I can't afford to remodify custody or child support payments. It cost me over a $100 every week to see him in gas alone. I have to choose when i can see him b/c i might not have the gas to go. Which makes child support payments even harder. Lawyers want to charge me for asking for help, what papers do i need to obtain etc. I don't want to terminate my rights but i seriously don't know how or what to do about my situation. Just looking for options that are not going to cost me thousands of dollars that i obviously dont have.

1 Lawyer Answer
Lydia Seifner
Lydia Seifner
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Springfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: You can't terminate your rights without someone else to take your place, like a step -parent adoption. However you may be able to modify the order to reflect a no contact, no support agreement. Such an order would not get rid of the arrears; you would still owe it, but it would get rid of additional support obligations. The only was to do it cheaply is if mom agrees. Be warned, modifications like this can be tricky, and judges don't like approving them, so having an attorney is best. Also, if you ever change your mind and want to see you child again, having already agreed to a no contact order will make re-establishing a parent- child relationship very difficult.

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