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How to Terminate Parental Rights

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What Are Parental Rights?

Parental rights are a set of legal rights that enable parents to make decisions on behalf of their children. This is usually applicable to a child’s biological parents but also applies to any person with legal custody of a child. Some examples of parental rights include:

  • Rights to make decisions on behalf of the child regarding upbringing, religious practice, and education
  • Rights to enter into contractual relations on behalf of the child
  • Rights to assist in determining child custody and visitation arrangements
  • Various rights regarding the child’s inheritance of property

I Need to Learn How to Terminate Parental Rights.

Parental rights can sometimes be forfeited by a parent. This can happen either voluntarily or involuntarily. Voluntary termination of parental rights occurs when a parent decides to give up or relinquish their rights toward the child—for example, by placing the child up for adoption. In all cases, the parent must give legal notice to the court regarding the termination of parental rights.

Involuntary termination of parental rights happens when a parent must give up their rights due to certain circumstances. These can include situations where the parent has gone to jail, become unexpectedly incapacitated, become abusive to the child, or is unable to support and care for the child.

Can I File for a Termination of Another Person’s Parental Rights?

If you need to file for a termination of parental rights of the other parent, you will generally need to file a request for an order from the court. Termination of parental rights is not granted immediately, as the court needs to perform various reviews to determine whether a termination of rights is appropriate. You will probably need to submit proof and evidence for why you believe that the other parent’s rights should be terminated.

In serious cases, the court may be required to intervene in order to prevent the child from being abused or neglected. In such cases, the intervention may result in the parent losing custody as well as their parental rights.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with Parental Rights?

It can sometimes be difficult to understand how to terminate parental rights. You may wish to hire a qualified family law attorney if you have any legal questions, concerns, or issues at all that involve parental rights. Your lawyer will be able to provide you with the legal advice, guidance, and representation that is needed for the benefit of the child or children.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 08-19-2014 12:28 PM PDT

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