April 23, 2024 |

The parent-child bond is considered unbreakable. However, various states allow parental rights to be terminated under certain circumstances. If you are considering a potential termination of your parental rights, you may be interested in knowing how the process works.

What Is the Termination of Parental Rights?

Termination of parental rights (TPR) is essentially a legal process that completely severs the legal relationship between a parent and their child. Once the process is concluded, the parent will no longer have any rights, responsibilities, or interests over the child. This means they won’t be able to live with or see the child and cannot make decisions involving the child. The former parent’s name is also removed from the child’s birth certificate. The parent’s obligation to contribute to the child’s upbringing also comes to an end.

Types of Termination of Parental Rights Processes

Termination of parental rights can be voluntary or involuntary. Involuntary termination is the most common and is usually pursued by the state. For a court to grant the termination order, the state needs to prove that the parent abused the child, is unfit to be a parent, or has abandoned the child for a long time. Considering the seriousness of the decision, courts often require a very high degree of evidence before making a decision. 

Voluntary termination occurs when a parent willingly surrenders their rights to their child. In most states, you can only surrender your parental rights if someone else wants to adopt your child or when another person requests the court to terminate your rights. Most courts will not accept your voluntary termination if you just want to avoid paying child support.

TPR cases are usually filed in the district court nearest to where the child in question lives. However, it is also acceptable for petitions to be filed in the county where one of the parents lives.

Work With an Experienced Lawyer

At Rowe & Manning in Baton Rouge, LA, our family law team is ready to ensure your rights are protected and your voice is heard throughout the process. Call us today for expert advice.

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