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Common reasons for terminating parental rights

Posted on in Firm News

Ideally, both parents would remain involved in their children’s lives after a divorce. However, as you are aware, sometimes one or both parents are unsuited to care for their children. To protect the children involved, family law courts in Texas must occasionally revoke parental rights.

You may be interested in learning the different reasons for terminating a parent’s rights. According to FindLaw, this is usually done for the children’s physical or emotional well-being. Parental rights are most often revoked in the following situations:

  • Physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse
  • Chronic or severe neglect of the children’s needs
  • Abandonment of the children or failure to maintain contact or support
  • Drug addiction, alcoholism or substance abuse
  • Endangerment of the children
  • Physical or mental incapacity that keeps the parent from being able to care for the children

A parent may also voluntarily give up his or her rights to care for the children. Usually, parental rights are involuntarily revoked after repeated attempts to help an unfit parent become a better caregiver. These efforts may include court-ordered counseling, rehabilitation for alcohol and drug abuse and supervised visitation.

You might have good reason to think it may be best to have your ex’s parental rights revoked. For example, your children complain that your ex and his new wife leave them alone for most of the weekend when they visit, with no supervision and little food. They might say your ex hits them and yells obscenities and threats, or leaves sharp objects and lighters within reach of their younger siblings. After you make repeated efforts to bring your concerns to child protective services and the situation does not improve or you are unable to get an order for supervised visitation, you might want to consider petitioning the court to have your ex’s rights terminated for your children’s long-term safety. When the court revokes a parent’s rights, he or she no longer has the right to see or contact the children.

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