Parental rights can be terminated by court order for the protection of the child or by consent of the parents. Terminating parental rights is generally used to remove a child from a destructive or unhealthy environment or as a precursor to adoption. It terminates all rights and obligations of the parent with respect to the child.
Generally, courts will terminate parental rights in the best interests of the child. This includes anytime there is danger to a child's physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.
Common grounds for terminating parental rights include:
Examples of insufficient grounds for terminating parental rights include:
No, the parental rights of both sexes are supposed to be equal. However, it may be more difficult for fathers to establish that they are the legal parent of the child. In many cases, the challenge is to establish that the man is a father. Once fatherhood is established though, the state cannot remove parental rights absent one of the reasons listed above.
It depends. If the biological parents are one family unit with their children, then the parental rights are the same as married couples.
However, if the mother is married to a man who is not the biological father of the child, then the mother’s husband is the legally presumed father. Traditionally, these cases will result in the termination of the parental rights of the biological father. In recent years though, the fathers’ rights movement has cast doubt on the wisdom of denying a child access to his or her biological father.
Parents have the same rights to children as long as they are a legal parent to the child, regardless of how they became the parent. If a person becomes a parent by adoption or marriage, that person has the same parental rights and responsibilities as a biological parent. That means non-biological parental rights can only be terminated through one of the reasons listed above.
No. If a parent’s rights to the children are terminated, then the parent is not obligated to pay any future support. If the parent owes any past child support though, the court may require that the parent pay off the past support.
Courts terminate parental rights based on a child’s best interests. Judges will deny termination if the parent merely wants to stop being a parent.
The task of terminating parental rights can be complex and emotional. A family law attorney can help you through the process and help protect children in need.
Last Modified: 01-30-2015 02:42 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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