Voluntary relinquishment of mother's parental rights versus court ordered termination of such rights?
My husband and I live in Michigan. He is the legal father of two children by an ex. These children (along with three others) were removed from their mother's custody over a year ago and we have a termination hearing coming up in a month. Her lawyer is pushing her to relinquish her rights. My husband and I were wondering what the legal difference is between termination by the court and her relinquishing her rights voluntarily (ie: could she come back years later and try to get them if she voluntarily gives them up)? Does she have to pay child support, etc?
If the child protective services agency removed the children from her, and the termination proceeding is a result of the agency's legal proceedings, the voluntary relinquishment would be permanent, especially if she does it with the advice of her own lawyer. The effect would not be any different than if she went to the hearing to fight for her parental rights and lost: she could not come back years later and try to regain custody, and she would not be liable for child support and she would have no visitation rights.