Family law inclines intensely on the idea of parental rights, which incorporate a parent’s privileges to settle on choices about a child’s education, medical needs, and the way he/she is brought up. The parent also has the option to make significant decisions for a kid. Notwithstanding, parental rights also accompany noteworthy obligations. A parent must give fundamental necessities, for example, food, clothing, and a roof above the head, and should likewise orchestrate child support, medical care, and other such needs. Sometimes, a parent may choose to voluntarily surrender their parental rights.
How to terminate parental rights without a lawyer?
Parents have some basic privileges and duties in a parent-child relationship. It is crucial for both parents to immediately make decisions about the child’s education, religion, health care, and other important concerns. This falls under the parental rights. However, these rights can be taken away from the parent(s) by the court if either one is found breaching the law or if the father fails to claim paternity.
The parental rights can also be terminated voluntarily by a parent. Dissolution of parental rights ends the legal relationship that the parent has with the child. Voluntary termination of parental rights usually occurs to facilitate adoption. In case of involuntary terminations, the court rules a parent as unfit or not acting in the best interests of a child. This entire process is quite complex and can even be really stressful and time consuming. Nevertheless, with a little patience and a strong knowledge of the legal framework, you can successfully terminate parental rights.
Voluntary Termination Of Parental Rights
The court will regularly consider a parent’s solicitation to voluntarily end their parental rights if another individual is happy to step in and care for the kid, as in the case of adoption. If you deliberately end your parental rights, you won’t have any financial commitments to your child any longer, however you will probably likewise lose the capacity to assume a part in your kid’s life or have any say in significant choices about your kid’s childhood, education, spiritual life, or any such issues.
Some of the most prevalent reasons for a person to voluntary termination of parental rights include:
- Making room for an adoption.
- Long-term drug or substance by the parent
- Long-term alcohol abuse by the parent
- Long-term mental illness or mental deficiency of the parent.
- Failure to maintain contact with a child.
In such cases, it is important that the parent should recognize his or her own inability to care for the child and voluntarily terminate their parental rights. On the other hand, there are also some cases where the court can abrogate a person’s parental rights for various different reasons, for example, incarceration, a history of sexual or physical abuse, or neglect of children.
Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
In each state, there is a distinct law regarding involuntary termination of parental rights. Each state has its own statute(s) providing for the termination of parental rights. The most common reasons for involuntary termination of parental rights include:
- Sexual abuse
- Severe or chronic abuse or neglect
- Abuse or neglect of other children in the household
- Failure to support the child
- Failure to maintain contact with the child
- Long-term mental illness or deficiency of the parent(s)
- Long-term alcohol usage by the parent(s)
- Long-term drug or substance abuse by the parent(s)
- Long-term drug-induced incapacity of the parent(s)
- Involuntary termination of the rights of the parent to another child
A parent can likewise lose their parental rights in the wake of being sentenced for specific legal offenses. In the event that a parent perpetrates a violent crime against their kid or another member of the family, the court has the option to eliminate their parental rights and end the relationship that the parent has with the child. Likewise, if a parent is needed to be detained for a certain time frame that requires the youngster to enter child care in light of the fact that there are no other options, then the parent can lose parental rights.
How To Terminate Parental Rights Without A Lawyer
Various courts do give parents the option to represent themselves without an attorney, especially in child custody cases. However, when it comes to termination of parental rights without a lawyer, the legal system is far more strict.
Courts would not award voluntary termination of parental rights except if guardians can impartially demonstrate this is to the greatest advantage of the child. Judges are commonly reluctant to end parental rights, regardless of whether they are being surrendered voluntarily or not. Therefore, it always suggested that you seek guidance from a family law lawyer to make sense of how to best contend for the termination of parental rights.
Numerous individuals need to terminate parental rights just in light of the fact that they would prefer not to financially support the kid. This is seldom viewed as a strong ground to end parental rights. Try not to document a petition to terminate parental rights on these grounds, as it will probably be denied.
Moreover, you also can’t just end parental rights just on the grounds that your life is troublesome and you do not possess the energy for a kid. Keep in mind, that the court’s definitive objective is to act in the kid’s wellbeing. Most judges and appointed authorities will think, except if it is by no means conceivable, that you ought to endeavor to include your child and his/her well-being into your life in spite of trouble.
A family law lawyer can converse with you about your purposes behind needing to terminate your parental rights. The attorney can assist you with drafting a solid explanation outlining why surrendering your parental rights is in the child’s wellbeing. This may mean confessing to fault on your part. In the event that you do not trust yourself to be a fit parent, the court will need to know why and you may need to unveil awkward and uncomfortable personal data that you feel excludes you for parental rights.
Petition To Terminate Parental Rights
There is no court structure accessible for the termination parental rights. You should draft the necessary pleading either all alone or with the help of a private lawyer (hiring a lawyer can be better, even if it is just for consultation). For the most part, Family Code segment 7820 is about the termination of parental rights.
The petition you file has to clearly request that you want your parental rights to be terminated on the basis of one or more of the reasons mentioned below. Make sure you mention all the reasons that apply including those such as:
- Family Code section 7822 – Abandonment
- Family Code section 7823 – Neglect or cruelty
- Family Code section 7824 – Disability in parents because of alcohol, or controlled substances, or moral depravity
- Family Code section 7825 – Parent convicted of felony, consideration of criminal record prior to felony conviction
- Family Code section 7826 – Parent is developmentally disabled or mentally ill
- Family Code section 7827 – Mentally disabled parent
You will likewise need to finish the Investigation Questionnaire Form and give the documents required along with your petition to terminate parental rights.
When you complete your appeal or solicitation for the termination of parental rights as well as the questionnaire, you may continue with mentioning a termination hearing by finishing a reference for hearing (no court structure accessible; reference must be drafted). In some restricted conditions, a termination solicitation can be encouraged without a court hearing by ex parte application.
Whether or not you are requesting a hearing, all reports will be submitted to the court drop-box at the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse. You should submit two duplicate copies of all documents with an envelope stamped with a self-address.
The documents that you submit will be checked on by the court before a meeting can be set or an ex parte is affirmed. If the court deems them to be adequate, a termination hearing will be set 45 days out or an ex parte request will be marked by the court; both of which will be sent to you. While mentioning a consultation make sure that you provide the court with accessible dates. In the event that the court deems your documents to be lacking, your records will be sent back to you for additional finishing.
Termination Of Parental Rights Form
The form that is required for the termination of parental rights can be easily found on the internet. Mentioned below are the few important points that your termination of parental rights form should have:
- Name of the court
- Name of the case
- Number of the case
- Petitioner’s name, mailing address, residential address and telephone
- Lawyer’s name, mailing address and telephone number (if applicable)
- Petitioner’s relationship to the child
- The child’s name, date of birth, place of birth and residential address
- The child’s birth father’s name, date of birth and mailing address
- The child’s birth mother’s name, date of birth and mailing address
- Information and details if the parent is a minor
- The grounds on which the termination petition is being filed
- Specify your factual allegations in support of the petition
Note that these are just a few elements. The actual form is detailed and lengthy and will ask you for other information such as if someone else has the physical custody of the child or if you have ever participated in some other court proceeding prior to filing the petition such as a custody case. Make sure that you answer all of the questions in the form with as much accuracy as possible.
Although there are many cases where parents have represented themselves in parental rights termination cases, terminating someone’s or your own parental rights is a very important and critical matter. Therefore, many legal experts say that it is a good idea to have an attorney assist and guide you since there are complex policies and procedures that have to be followed.