Can I Terminate My Ex’s Parental Rights Due to Child Abandonment?
The question that I received was from a mother who had not heard from her child’s father for over a year. She wanted to know if she has the right to terminate his parental rights and can she do it quickly? The answer to that is yes, you can terminate the parental rights of a parent if they have not been present, nor provided any sort of support to the child for a significant period of time.
Because termination of parental rights is very serious, the courts are very hesitant to make the decision quickly and without proper notice to the other party. If you know the whereabouts of the other parent, the process can be a bit quicker. If you do not know where they are, it’s going to take a little bit longer, but it is not impossible.
The first thing that the court expects you to do when you’re trying to terminate a parent’s rights is that you have to do due diligence in locating the other parent. You have to show that you have tried to find that parent in every way possible. For example, you may uncover the parent’s last known address, their last known employer, contact family members, search social media, or anything else that you can possibly do to attempt to try to locate the other parent.
If your attempts to locate the other parent are not successful, then next you must get permission from the court to notice that parent through publication. This process involves posting a notice of your intent to terminate their rights in a newspaper for four consecutive weeks. Only after the proper notice to the other parent will the court consider granting the termination.
Remember, termination of parental rights is a very serious issue for Family Law courts and something they do not take lightly. One must provide ample evidence of the other parent’s abandonment and the duration for which they have been absent in the child’s life.
If you have questions regarding this topic, or any other Family Law topic do not hesitate to consult an experience Family Law attorney. Our office will discuss your specific situation in detail and help to explain the options available to you. To schedule a consultation contact our office at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org or by scheduling a consultation online.