ABILENE TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS ATTORNEY
If you are considering the termination of parental rights in Texas the family law attorneys of Blizzard and Zimmerman are here to help with this legal process of severing the legal relationship between a parent and child.
Once severed, parental rights cannot be restored by that parent again (unless termination was done in error).
Our experienced family law attorneys know the parental termination process.
What is a Termination of Parental Rights?
As stated above, it is the legal process that severs the legal relationship between a child and parent. The rights which may be terminated include:
- Parental Rights to Visitation
- Possession and Access to Child’s Legal Records
- Child Support Payments
- Right of Decision-Making for Child’s Education
- Right of Decision-Making for Child’s Religious Matters
- Right to Receive Information About Child(ren)
- Spousal Support or Maintenance (if the termination involves a parent’s new spouse)
- Any other right that exists between parents and children, whether created by legislative enactment or court order.
If you are facing an involuntary termination case, the first step is to file a Petition with the Court typically after there has been some sort of abuse or neglect that points to a parent not being fit to be around your child anymore.
In general, by terminating the other parent’s parental rights, you will become your child’s sole custodian and guardian and your child will only have contact with you.
We can help you even if a parent has voluntarily requested their parental rights be terminated.
What Is The Process?
In Texas, the process of terminating parental rights is governed by state law and involves several steps. The following is just a general overview of the legal process of terminating parental rights in Texas:
- Filing a Petition: The first step in the process is for the party seeking to terminate parental rights to file a petition with the court. The petition should include the grounds for seeking termination, such as abandonment, neglect, abuse, or other factors that make the parent unfit to care for the child.
- Service of Process: The petition must be served on the other parent or legal guardian, as well as any other parties with a legal interest in the child, such as grandparents or other relatives.
- Appointment of an Attorney ad Litem: The court will appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the child’s interests and ensure that the child’s best interests are protected throughout the process.
- Hearing: The court will hold a hearing to determine whether termination of parental rights is in the child’s best interests. At the hearing, evidence will be presented to support the grounds for termination, and the parent may present evidence to contest the allegations.
- Final Order: If the court finds that termination of parental rights is in the child’s best interests, it will issue a final order terminating the parent-child relationship.
It is important to note that the termination of parental rights is definitely a serious legal matter with long-term consequences. This is a process that should not be undertaken lightly. We urge you to consult with an experienced family law attorney for guidance and representation throughout this process.
Evidence Must Be Clear and Convincing
Here in Texas, a lawsuit must be filed and the attorneys are charged with proving the requirements set out in the Texas Family Code (chapter 161).
Among the items the court may order the termination of the parent-child relationship if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has:
- Voluntarily left the child alone or in the possession of another not the parent and expressed an intent not to return;
- Voluntarily left the child alone or in the possession of another not the parent without expressing an intent to return, without providing for the adequate support of the child, and remained away for a period of at least three months;
- voluntarily left the child alone or in the possession of another without providing adequate support of the child and remained away for a period of at least six months;
- Knowingly placed or knowingly allowed the child to remain in conditions or surroundings which endanger the physical or emotional well-being of the child;
- Engaged in conduct or knowingly placed the child with persons who engaged in conduct which endangers the physical or emotional well-being of the child;
- Failed to support the child in accordance with the parent’s ability during a period of one year ending within six months of the date of the filing of the petition;
- Abandoned the child without identifying the child or furnishing means of identification, and the child’s identity cannot be ascertained by the exercise of reasonable diligence;
- Voluntarily, and with knowledge of the pregnancy, abandoned the mother of the child beginning at a time during her pregnancy with the child and continuing through the birth, failed to provide adequate support or medical care for the mother during the period of abandonment before the birth of the child, and remained apart from the child or failed to support the child since the birth;
- Contumaciously refused to submit to a reasonable and lawful order of a court under Subchapter D, Chapter 261;
- Been the major cause of
- The failure of the child to be enrolled in school as required by the Education Code; or
- The child’s absence from the child’s home without the consent of the parents or guardian for a substantial length of time or without the intent to return;
- Been convicted or has been placed on community supervision, including deferred adjudication community supervision, for being criminally responsible for the death or serious injury of a child under several sections of the penal code.
The Best Interest of the Child is Paramount
If you are pursuing an involuntary termination of parental rights, you will have to work hard to prove one or more reasons set out in the Texas Family Code and that terminating the parental rights is in the best interests of the child.
If the other parent has voluntarily agreed to terminate his or her own rights then you still have to prove it is in the best interest of your child.
Blizzard & Zimmerman Attorneys provides top-shelf legal services to individuals looking to terminate parental rights in the Abilene area.
Our family law attorneys know their way around the Texas legal system. They are experienced and have the know-how to get things done quickly
Don’t delay. Start protecting yourself today by contacting an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through this process.
We have the experience, and tenacity to help you achieve your goals, with personal attention.
Contact our Abilene law firm to discuss your case involving the termination of parental rights today.