It is natural that parents have certain responsibilities and rights in the relationship with their children. As long as you are a parent, automatically you have a right to decide on your child’s health care, religion, education, and other important issues when they are not of age.
Circumstances Which May Lead to Termination of Parental Rights
However, some circumstances may warrant the court to take away all these rights from a parent. Such circumstances as;
- If as a father, you refused to claim paternity of the child.
- If the child is constantly suffering abuse from the parent.
- If the said parent violated the law. That is he or she is imprisoned for certain felonies or violated the child or any family member.
- In the case of voluntary termination of the rights by a parent.
- When a parent is sexually abusing his or her child, the parental rights can be taken away from him or her involuntarily.
- In a situation where a parent is suffering from a permanent deficiency or mental illness.
- If the parent is abusive to the other children in their household.
- Abandonment by the parent can warrant the termination of his or her parental right.
- If the parent fails to keep in contact or support the child, the parental rights will be taken away from such parent.
- If it is found out that the parent has been incapacitated by his or her drug use or is an alcoholic, the rights will be taken away.
- If the parent has a long prison term which may lead the child requiring foster care, the parental rights can be taken away from the parent.
All these circumstances can lead to the end of the relationship between a parent and a child also to terminate the parental rights.
How to Terminate Parental Rights without A Lawyer?
It is possible to terminate parental rights without a lawyer, however; there is the need to equip you with the appropriate information. You should have a great understanding of the entire process for parental rights termination. With the right understanding, you will be able to carry out the process legally and in the best interests of the child.
Steps to Follow to Terminate Parental Rights
- Carry out a Thorough Research
Whether the termination of parental rights is voluntary or involuntary, it is vital to research the laws regarding each one thoroughly. The research will enable you to prove that you have ground for the termination. Where you are residing most time, plays an important role in the process. That is why you can go to “This List at Childwelfare.gov” if you are a resident of the United States. That is where you can get the appropriate information. On the other hand, if you are a resident of the European Union, you can carry out your search at “justice.europa.Eu” which is the country’s legislation. However, if you are residing in another country apart from the above, you can always carry out your research online.
- Get in contact with your Local Courthouse
For the United States residents, you can go to “the uscourts.gov website” or ask for information from your nearest local government center. As usual, those residing in other Countries can go online or check the nearest court in their district. When you find the court, call them and inquire whether the courthouse is the appropriate one to petition for the termination of parental rights. If they are not, collect the right information from them. When you get the right courthouse, inquire from them the documents necessary for you to bring and the number of copies needed. Remember to keep your copy for record purposes.
- File the Documents
After filling out the necessary documents which you prepared or collected from the court, you should send it back to the courthouse. Make sure that you adhere to the strict guidelines when filing the forms because that is the only way that the court can accept them.
- Get the Documents across to the other Parent
When you finish with the form filling, the court clerk will give you a copy for your keeping and one to serve to the other parent. Make sure the document reaches the party you want to terminate his or her rights through another person other than you.
- Secure necessary Evidence and Documentation
Do not forget to gather the evidence and the documents that will support your case. The evidence should meet all the legal specifications and prove your reasons for the termination.
- Always appear at the scheduled hearings
After you file your petition, a court hearing or several hearings will be scheduled. Make sure that you are present in all the hearings.
- Conduct yourself properly
Your conduct and dressing are important to be on the positive side when appearing in court since you are trying to terminate the other parent’s rights. When you get the termination order, make sure that you keep records to protect the child in case of future disagreements.
If you want to succeed in terminating the parental rights without a lawyer, follow the above process judiciously, and you will get your termination order in no due time.