Can a Parent's Rights be Terminated?
While it might sound unthinkable, the fact is that there are some circumstances under which a parent’s rights might be terminated to better serve the best interests of a child. This can either be done voluntarily or as a result of the other parent’s petition to the court. Unsurprisingly, the legal process for terminating a parent’s right, when not done voluntarily, will require strong evidence that doing so would benefit the child enough to warrant it.
Below is a list of some grounds that would likely allow a parent’s rights to be terminated:
- Chronic or severe physical abuse of the child
- Sexual abuse of the child
- Severe psychological abuse of the child
- Extreme neglect of the child, including insufficient food, shelter, or care
- Abandonment of the child
- Long-term mental illness of the parent
- Including the child in criminal acts
- Felony conviction of the parent
- Failure to provide education to the child
- The presumptive father is not the biological father of the child
- The parent has given birth to three or more drug-affected children
Essentially, as long as the parent poses a risk to the child’s well-being and it is proven that the continued custody by the parent would be detrimental to the child, it is likely that his or her parental rights will be terminated.
What Happens When a Parent’s Rights Are Terminated?
Once a parent’s rights are terminated, regardless if it was done voluntarily or involuntarily, it relinquishes the individual from all responsibilities related to the child, including child support. While this might seem like a relief for some, it also means that they no longer have any rights to the child. The other parent is not obligated to permit visits or to allow him or her to make any decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. As such, voluntary termination of these rights should not be taken lightly.
Termination of Parental Rights in Texas
As a parent, you have automatic rights to your child once he or she is born. However, there are often some circumstances in which you might wish to either revoke these rights from an ex or willingly surrender them. At The Clark Law Firm, our Fort Worth family law attorneys can navigate you through this process and ensure the best interests of you and your child are protected.
Get started on your case today and call our office at (817) 435-4970 to schedule a free initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.