Termination of Parental Rights
Custody to their child at any time, and for any reason. Sometimes it is necessary to terminate the parental rights of a parent against their wishes, for the safety or well-being of the child in question. Some people believe it is as easy as asking the judge to sever the parent’s rights and it will be granted. However, it’s not that simple; there is a process that must be followed.
The most important element of terminating a parent’s rights to their child is to prove that they are an unfit parent, or that the child is at risk while in their care. If the parent has a history of neglect or abuse of a dependent, abandonment of a dependent or failure to support dependents adequately, this can be grounds for termination. Mental illness or the abuse of alcohol or drugs (prescription or illegal) can also result in termination of parental rights. If the parent’s rights to another child have been involuntarily terminated, the court can terminate their rights to all of their children.
If one parent has their rights terminated, it does not affect the rights of the other parent; they remain intact unless and until there are legal proceedings to sever them as well. When a parent’s rights are terminated, the courts will first look to place the child with the other parent. If that is not a good choice, an attempt will be made to place the child with a relative. Finally, the court will look to a foster home within the Division of Family Services (or similar agency) to care for the child if a relative is unavailable. A parent’s rights may be reinstated if they follow the directions of the court to regain their rights.
It is important to understand your rights and obligations to any children that you are responsible for. Since laws vary from state to state, the best place to find information on this subject is a trusted Las Vegas family law attorney or divorce and child custody lawyer. They can answer your questions and help you with any custody issues that you are facing.