Terminating parental rights is serious. It means the permanent end of any social, financial, and legal responsibility for a child, meaning the parent will also have no visitation rights. As a parent, you want to do whatever you can to keep your children safe and happy. Unfortunately, sometimes when parents split up one parent can start to fail on their duties and responsibilities to their children. If you are not the parent failing in your duties, you may wonder whether or not you can terminate your ex's parental rights.
Can You Terminate Your Ex's Parental Rights?
As an individual you cannot terminate their rights; it can only be done by a court system after certain factors are considered. They range from severe to minor. This can be that the person isn't supporting the child or providing education for the child. It could also be a case where the child is being abused emotionally, physically, or sexually. Grounds for terminating parental rights to vary upon location, but ChildWelfare.gov would list the exact requirements based on where you live.
Exploring Possible Reasons for Termination
There are other reasons a parent's rights might be revoked. These include, but are not limited to, a parent's alcohol dependency, drug addiction, long-term mental illness, neglect in providing food or shelter for the child, felony conviction for violence, failure to comply with court decided plan, and child abandonment. Additionally, if the child has been in foster care for fifteen out of the past twenty-two months, would be at risk if they live with the parent in question, or is a newborn and addicted to alcohol or drugs, then this would also be grounds to terminate parental rights.
Are There Exceptions?
The easiest way to get your ex's parental rights revoked is through voluntary termination. Unfortunately, this means your ex has to agree to give up his or her rights and responsibilities to the child. Even if you are getting re-married and you want your new wife or husband to adopt the child, your ex will still have to consent to giving up his or her rights.
If your spouse is not ready or willing to give up their rights, your only option is to hire a lawyer and prove why your ex is not performing his or her duty as a parent.
What is the Process?
The court will give the parent being considered for termination a lawyer if the parent can't provide their own. In some cases, the child may be given legal representation as well. This is to make sure the child's best interests are heard from an unbiased point of view.
While there is no way for you to press a button or sign a piece of paper to magically terminate your ex's parental rights, you can seek help from a lawyer, such as Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates LLC, if your ex is no longer performing their duty as a parent.