Termination of Parental Rights

Our attorneys will fight for your family

Under certain circumstances, parents of children can have their parental rights terminated. This is a significant step, and one that should not be approached lightly. If termination of parental rights is needed in your child's situation, contact the Mesa family law attorneys at Brown, Naegle, Crider & Jensen LLC.

Reasons to terminate parental rights

The termination of parental rights becomes an extremely important step when it comes to the adoption of a child. In order for anyone to legally adopt a child, the parental rights of the biological parents must be terminated by order of the court. This can happen either voluntarily or involuntarily, depending on the situation.

In other cases, the parent may be using his or her parental rights to the detriment of the child, and parental rights need to be terminated for the sake of the child's safety. These cases are almost always involuntary and need to be pursued by the other parent, another family member, or a state agency such as DCS (formerly known as CPS).

Voluntary termination of rights

In some cases, the biological parent may choose to voluntarily terminate their rights to a child. Parents are sometimes willing to consent to the termination of parental rights because it will relieve them of child support obligations or other responsibilities. They might also feel unable to provide an adequate living situation for raising the child.

Even when this is the case, there are still legal proceedings and paperwork that must be handled in a certain way. Having an experienced family law attorney such as Brad Crider in your corner during these proceedings can ensure things go smoothly.

Involuntary termination of rights

In extreme situations, the courts will terminate the parental rights of an individual even without their consent. It must be proved that the child is in serious emotional or physical danger, or that the parent is unfit to take care of the child. Some of the most common reasons a parent would be found unfit include the following:

  • Severe child abuse or neglect
  • Child abandonment
  • Substance abuse by the parent
  • Criminal history - felony conviction or incarceration
  • Long-term illness
  • Sexual abuse
  • Misconduct or abuse of siblings

Other situations or allegations can also warrant the involuntary termination of parental rights by the court. In any event, when the child's safety is at risk, the courts will want to put the child in a safe environment as soon as possible.

Legal support

If you're filing to terminate parental rights, or if you need to defend against an attempt to terminate your parental rights, you need help. In some cases, the initial filing for termination of parental rights can lead to dependency hearings or other litigation in court. To avoid a long process and protect your interests, consult with a juvenile law attorney.

Our juvenile law team has experience in such matters and will help you quickly and effectively file for termination of parental rights. Brad Crider will first review your case and advise you on how things should proceed. He can work with other attorneys involved and represent you in court if needed.

To learn more about the process, give us a call today at 480-378-9000 to set up your free initial consultation with a Mesa family law attorney.

3850 E Baseline Rd Suite 112
Mesa, AZ 85206
local phone: (480) 378-9000