A Columbus Family Law Attorney article about signing away your rights to your child.
In Ohio, usually when people ask this question, what they mean is – if I agree not to be a part of my child’s life will I have to pay child support? In Ohio, visitation, or parenting time, is a privilege, not a right. Support, on the other hand, is an obligation. Both visitation and child support are modifiable until the child reaches majority, or until the parent’s rights are terminated by either an adoption or a children’s services type of proceeding terminating parental rights. Another way of putting it is this – if a person wants to walk away from their child, a court may agree that it is in the child’s best interest not to have contact with that parent, but that does not relieve the parent from the obligation to support their child. Nothing but a termination of parental rights via adoption or children’s services case will eliminate the possibility that a zero child support order may be modified in the future.
CALL NOW at (614) 225-9316 or contact us by e-mail.
Until recently, Ohio courts generally held that child support was not modifiable retroactively. In some situations where a parent has failed to pay child support for years and had an enormous child support arrearage, the parent with the child support arrearage sometimes would offer to “sign away their rights” if the custodial parent would agree to “get rid of” the child support arrearage. Sometimes this offer was attractive to the custodial parent, but Ohio courts maintained that the Ohio Revised Code does not allow retroactive modification of child support. On December 11, 2008, the Ohio Supreme Court, in the case Byrd v. Knuckles, decided that a court MAY, but is NOT REQUIRED TO, accept an agreement of the parents to terminate a child support arrearage. To learn more about the Byrd v. Knuckles case and retroactive modification of child support, click here.