Parental Rights and Child Support

Do I Need to Use an Attorney to do the Paperwork for Releasing a Consenting Father of His Parental Rights?

In the end you are better off using an attorney. The issue is one of "informed consent." You might pay for his attorney to advise him of his rights and to place in any such agreement that he received "advice of counsel." That way, 4 years from now, he can't come back at you and say: "I didn't understand what the heck I was doing.

I'm Marrying a Man Who Has Children From a Previous Marriage. He Regularly Pays His Child Support. Since I Earn More Than My Fiance, We Want To Protect My Income From From Any Future Increase in Support Payments Should the Ex- Seek More. What Are Our Options?

Some states, California for example, provide that a new spouse with income, cannot be held liable for the support of a step-child except under extreme circumstances. Your State may have similar exemptions. However, for the time being, and for purposes of financial safety, set up and maintain separate savings and checking accounts. That way, your funds do not become commingled with your husband's, and a court, should the question ever arise, will always be able to calculate whose income is whose and where the funds came.

Can One Parent Be Ordered to Pay Child Support Even if S/He Never Married the Other (Custodial) Parent?

Yes. Child support is payable from one parent to the other for a common child, regardless of the marital status of the parents. This is very common in a paternity action, whether or not the issues of parentage, child visitation, child custody, and child support are resolved. Paternity actions to recover the cost to government for payment of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC or "welfare") are commonly brought by local government agencies (such as the Office of the District Attorney) throughout the country to hold a parent responsible for child support, even when s/he has never been married to the other parent.

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