Parental Rights Lawyers

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What Are Parental Rights?

Parental rights are those legal rights that every parent has in relation to their child. Most of these rights deal with the parent’s authority to make important decisions on behalf of the child or children. 

Parental rights can include:

These rights are generally assumed to be automatic for the biological parents of a child. Parental rights may also be extended to persons beside the biological parent, such as a foster parent or legal guardian.

What Are “Parental Obligations”?

When speaking of parental rights, it is important to understand that parents also have legal obligations to their children. Parental obligations are those responsibilities that parents must exercise when raising their children.

Some parental obligations include:

Failure to follow parental obligations can result in legal consequences for the parent. In severe cases, violations of parental obligations can be considered neglect or even abuse.

Can Parental Rights Be Terminated?

Yes- termination of parental rights can happen in two ways:

Depending on the circumstances, the other parent may not need to consent to a termination of the other parent’s legal rights.

What Are “Residual Parental Rights”?

Residual parental rights are those rights that remain with a natural parent after they have transferred legal custody of their child. Residual parental rights usually include: visitation rights, rights to consent to adoption, and rights to determine the child’s religious upbringing. 

Residual parental obligations usually include the responsibility to pay child support. As with other parental rights, residual rights can be terminated with or without the parent’s consent if a judge deems it to be necessary. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Legal Issues Involving Parental Rights?

Parental rights are central to the upbringing and care of a child. If you have any legal issues involving parental rights, you may wish to get in touch with a lawyer for advice. A family lawyer in your area can explain your parental rights and obligations towards your child.  If you are involved in any legal disputes over parental rights, a lawyer can represent you in court.

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Last Modified: 02-27-2014 10:53 AM PST

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