The family court in Orange County is always faced with serious family cases. One of them is terminating a parent’s legal rights. This is such a critical matter because it affects the upbringing of the child.
Whether you want to terminate the rights of the other parent or you feel your parental rights are being threatened, you will need the support of a knowledgeable Orange County family law attorney.
There are various instances when a parent’s rights are terminated in California. This termination means that the parent loses parental rights over the child and is no longer considered a legal parent. The court will take deep consideration into all circumstances of the case and consider the child’s best interests. Read on to understand the purpose of terminating a parent’s rights.
When Are Parental Rights Terminated?
Once a court issues an order terminating one’s parental rights, it means the legal relationship between the child and the parent comes to an end. This court order also terminates these rights:
- Social security
- Child support
- Medical insurance
- Child custody
- Liability for the child’s conduct
California Family Code Section 7820 allows termination of parental and custodial rights of a parent who abandons their child. This may be proven if the parent:
- Provides no financial support
- Had plans to abandon the child
- Has little or no contact with the child for over a year
What Are the Reasons for Terminating a Parent’s Rights in California?
There are several reasons to pursue termination of parental rights in Orange county. The top reasons for seeking termination of parental rights are listed below.
Termination of parental rights often comes up during the California adoption process. If you remarried and want your new spouse to adopt your child, you’ll have to ask the other parent to waive their parental rights voluntarily. Sometimes this other parent may refuse, which forces the family court to terminate the rights without their consent.
Neglect or Abuse
A termination of parental rights may be brought against either parent through a Dependency Court action if either parent has a drug or alcohol dependency problem and has neglected their role as a parent. This also goes for criminal issues and abusive behaviors in the parent. If the parent is found guilty, the juvenile court may terminate their rights. This is a way of protecting the child’s best interests and ensuring their wellbeing is addressed.
A parent may lose parental rights if they leave the child in the care of another person for an extended period without providing for the child or communicating for six months. A parent may also lose these rights if they leave the child in the other parent’s care for up to a year without communicating with the parent or providing for the child.
Both scenarios are considered abandonment. If a third party has been caring for the child during this time, s/he may file for guardianship or adoption and terminating the legal rights of the other parents may give way to this process.
Is Termination of Parental Rights Necessary?
For a prospective parent to legally become a child’s parent, the birth parent’s rights must first be terminated either voluntarily or involuntarily. Biological parents in most infant adoption cases often understand this point. They will voluntarily terminate their rights with the help of an Orange County termination of parental rights attorney to give their child the best outcomes in life.
Sometimes birth parents cannot be traced, while some may not agree to the adoption. Such cases are often advanced through involuntary termination.
What Are Other Common Grounds for Terminating Parental Rights?
The parental rights termination procedure is the most robust legal mechanism to protect children’s wellbeing and give them a better future. The other common grounds that give way for the termination of parent’s rights include:
- Sexual abuse on the child
- Severe physical abuse on the child
- Child neglect- not providing food, clothing, shelter
- Psychological torture of the child
- Felony conviction of the parent
- Long term mental illness of the parent
- Failure to maintain contact with the child
- Unreasonably withholding consent to adopt by the noncustodial parent
- The presumptive father is not the child’s biological father
- Inducing the child to commit a crime
- A child conceived through rape or incest
California laws provide more protection to a child than federal law. And California family courts will make the child’s best interests a top priority even when a parent refuses to terminate their rights voluntarily. Because terminating a parent’s rights is a serious order, the court often gives such orders in extreme cases.
Can Parental Rights Be Restored?
In California, a parent can seek reinstatement of their parental rights even after termination. However, only the child can make such a petition within three years of the original termination decree. The child must also not have been adopted during this time. With the help of a social worker or caretaker, a child can consult with an Orange County termination of parental rights attorney to determine the chances for reinstatement of the parent’s rights.
How Does an Orange County Attorney Help?
Dealing with a parental rights termination case is never easy. It might be easy in a voluntary parental. But whether your adoption process requires involuntary or voluntary termination of parent’s rights, you need an attorney to oversee the legal process.
Compassionate Family Lawyers Walking with You
The purpose of parental rights termination in California is to ensure a child’s best interests are protected. This process seeks to ensure a child’s future is secure. When dealing with such complex family matters, it’s always best to have the right legal counsel.
The family law attorneys at Sarieh Law Offices have the experience and skills to handle even the most challenging family matters like termination of parental rights. Talk to us today, and we will guide you through your termination of parental rights case.