Termination of Parental Rights
What is Parental Rights Termination?
It is a legal process where the family court will terminate the parent-child relationship between a child with one or both of his parents. Parental rights can only be terminated through court-order even if the parent with child custody and the co-parent decide the parenting arrangement or parental rights and responsibilities of each other.
Who can file a case of Parental Rights Termination?
A parent, a child represented by a guardian ad litem, or a family law attorney can file a termination of the parental case. However, there are instances where an individual can still file a court case if you are:
- A man is claiming paternity to be the biological father of the child
- A person granted visitation rights
- A foster parent of the child for at least 1 year
- An adoptive parent
- The grandparent, great grandparents, sibling, or stepparent if:
- Both parents are dead
- The parents, surviving parent, or managing conservator approves
- The situation is not for the interest of the child that may result in neglect, child abuse, or harm the physical health of the child
- The designated managing conservator in an affidavit or relinquishment has a written consent to adopt the child
What are the ways for Parental Rights to be terminated?
here are 2 ways to terminate parental rights, either voluntarily and involuntary. Voluntary termination of parental rights is the most common type in custody disputes when the parents divorced, are going through a divorce, or are unmarried. By getting the consent of the biological parents, they give up the legal rights or joint legal rights in the child or children. This also means that they give up legal obligations such as paying child support and spousal support. If a non-custodial parent does not want to give up their rights, the custodial parent can ask the court to terminate the rights of the other parent if he or she is deemed unfit, guilty of child abandonment, abusive, or is not paying child support.
Involuntary termination of parental rights, on the other hand, is when the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) removes a child on a finding that there is some form of abuse, neglect, endangerment, or other factors.
What happens when there is disagreement with the parental rights between the parents?
If the parents do not agree with the terms of the termination of the parental rights or other agreements such as custody agreement, parenting plans, visitation schedule, etc., they may consider a mediation where a mediator will try and help them come to an agreement and the process is much easier. Be sure to talk with a custody lawyer first. It is highly recommended that you seek help from custody lawyers who can help you understand your options and negotiate a fair agreement.
Do you need to hire a Child Custody Lawyer?
While it is not necessary, termination of parental rights involves custody cases that are complex and may jeopardize your parental and financial rights. Talking with a family law attorney will be helpful to explore your legal options and understand your rights. It is especially important to hire or talk with a custody attorney if your case is contested or you need help to cover child support.
Our experienced family law attorneys can help you with the necessary information, paperwork, legal process, and guidelines that you might have to go through. Contact us at Utah Child Custody for more information and service adoption assistance.