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Termination of Parental Rights

Termination of parental rights permanently ends the legal parent-child relationship. Once these rights are terminated, a child may be adopted without parental consent.

Termination of parental rights may be voluntary, based on the informed consent of the parent, or it may be involuntary, a result of court proceedings brought against the parent.

In Arizona, courts will only involuntarily terminate parental rights in extreme situations, such as the child being in serious emotional or physical danger, and the termination of the parental rights is in the best interest of the child.

A parent is deemed unfit if any of the following conditions apply:

  • Abandonment of the child
  • Sever or chronic abuse or neglect
  • Long-term illness or deficiency of the parent
  • Long-term alcohol or drug induced incapacity of the parent
  • Abuse or neglect of other children in the household
  • Felony conviction or incarceration
  • Failure to establish paternity
  • Murder or manslaughter of a sibling child
  • Felony assault of child or sibling
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Failure of Reasonable Efforts

There are circumstances, however, that are not considered valid grounds for termination. Some parties that have been through a divorce seek to terminate a parent’s rights because they do not pay child support or do not follow the visitation schedule. These are not sufficient grounds for a termination of parent rights proceeding.

If parents decide to place their child or children for adoption, it is considered to be voluntary termination of parental rights.

Under Arizona law, the right to file an action for the termination of parental rights goes to any person or agency with an interest in the welfare of the child. The action can be filed as long as the person taking the action has sufficient grounds to base the claim. The people and agencies that often petition for termination of parental rights are relatives, foster parents, physicians/nurses, Arizona Child Protective Services, and child welfare agencies.

If you are thinking of relinquishing your parent’s rights or have been served with an involuntary termination proceeding order, it is best to get legal advice from a Phoenix Family Law Attorney at the Sampair Group. The experienced child custody attorneys at Sampair represent individuals throughout the valley with locations in Phoenix, Glendale and Mesa.

Termination Of Parental Rights

Sometimes an unfortunate consequence of some divorces is that one of the parents becomes absent. In some instances there is a parent that decides not to take an active role in the life of their child after divorce. When that happens the remaining parent may seek to have the parental rights terminated. Doing so is a serious undertaking and is not an issue the Courts ever take lightly. Termination of parental rights can have severe consequences for the remaining parent, so it should not be done unless there is complete certainty in the decision to take this step.

When the following factors are present in your situation you can seek to have parental rights terminated:

● The other parent has abandoned the child meaning that that parent has not provided reasonable support or maintained regular contact with the child..

● The other parent is unable to perform parental responsibilities because of mental illness, substance abuse or any other reason and there is evidence that the problem will continue for an indefinite period.

●  The other parent is deprived of civil liberties as the result of a felony conviction for a crime which is of a nature as to prove that parent’s unfitness as a parent.

● The parents have relinquished their rights to a child to an agency or have consented to adoption.

We have helped others through this difficult process and can help you too. A careful examination of the facts of your case is required in order to present the best evidence to the Court. Making sure your child is protected from harmful situations and has a safe place to live is one of the most important aspects of any family law matter. Doing what is in the best interests of your child and what works best for your family is our goal. We work with you to develop strategies that get you to workable solutions.

For more information about the important issue of seeking to terminate parental rights, consult a qualified legal professional. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.

When The Non-Custodial Parent Refuses To Visit The Child

As a parent, you will feel your child’s pain if the non-custodial parent has no wish to visit their children and exercise their parental rights. Damage is being done to the child, who may end up feeling unloved due to the lack of self-esteem that comes from neglect from a parent. As a parent you want to protect your children from all of life’s disappointments, and while you can’t fully take away the pain of a parent not wanting to be in their life, here are some things you can do to keep the impact of an absent parent to a minimum.

Do not allow your child to see your own disappointment and concern. You don’t want them to feed off of your negative emotions. If you are angry with your ex, keep it to yourself and do not share these feelings with your child.

Explain to your child that the absent of their parent is not a reflection of the child’s worth. Let the child know that the parent is having a difficult time in their life that is getting in the way of him or her understanding the pain they are causing their child by being absent.

Discuss the situation with the other parent. They may not realize the negative impact that their behavior is having on the child. Assure the other parent that your motive is to co-parent in a way that is in the best interest of the child. If your communication attempts with the other parent fail, let it be. They may not care to see the child, and with lack of care comes a lack of concern, and you don’t want that kind of behavior in your child’s future.

If the other parent is a non-custodial parent who makes plans with their child and doesn’t follow through, have a back up plan. If they are inconsistent with their visits, the best way to prevent your child from being disappointed is to distract them with other activities that they will enjoy.

All parents that are co-parenting should work hard to make a consistent schedule of visitation and communication with their child. Putting your child’s needs before your own is very important. For more information regarding child custody and divorce, contact a Glendale divorce attorney at The Sampair Group today.