A child custody case that involves one parent seeking to terminate the other parent’s parental rights can become tense and emotional very quickly. It is a huge deal if the court ultimately decides to legally end one parent’s relationship with the child.
In Texas, if there is a situation involving danger to the child’s safety, then the other parent can pursue sole managing conservatorship. These situations are often the result of one parent believing that the other parent is directly causing harm to the child or placing the child in harmful situations.
However, if you believe you are being wrongfully accused of placing the child in danger, and if you are concerned about your rights as a parent being taken away, then you need to understand how to fight termination of parental rights. Otherwise, you risk losing the parent-child relationship. First, let’s walk through how this process works.
Who Can Initiate Termination of Parental Rights?
In standard child custody cases, either biological parent can file for termination of parental rights in the Texas Family Courts.
In unique situations, other individuals can file to terminate your parental rights. These individuals include:
- A man who believes that he is the biological father of the child
- A foster parent of the child
- An individual with court-ordered visitation rights
- A potential adoptive parent of the child
- A relative (grandparent, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew) who has lived with or cared for the child for six months or more
It is also possible for someone representing the child to file to terminate parental rights. This could be the guardian of the child in the event of the other parent’s death, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), or a child-placing agency.
It is important to note that no matter who initiates the termination of parental rights, the court will ultimately decide whether your parental rights will be terminated.
What’s The Timeline for Termination of Parental Rights?
An individual can file for termination of your parental rights at any point, even before the child is born. Keep in mind, though, that another individual must establish the grounds for pursuing the termination of parental rights.
The person that initiates the case must file no later than six months after an unsupportive parent has not provided any financial support for a year or more. If your case involves a foster parent, then the foster parent must file no later than 90 days after his or her possession of the child ends.
No matter who files against you, you need to work with a family law attorney immediately. There is too much on the line to try to navigate the court system and form a strong legal defense on your own. As an expert in family law, I will provide you with critical counsel to achieve your goal of fighting back to retain your relationship with the child.
What Will Be Decided in a Termination of Parental Rights Case?
A termination of parental rights case will conclude with the court determining whether to end your relationship with the child. A court-ordered termination of the parent-child relationship carries significant weight.
The court may also appoint a managing conservator or possessory conservator to support the child, allow the child’s name to be changed, and initiate changes to child support, among other changes on a case-by-case basis.
It’s a serious legal matter. If you believe that you are in danger of losing your parental rights and are ready to fight the case filed against you, then call me right away to discuss your situation.
I will help you gain a better understanding of how to fight termination of parental rights in your specific case and provide you with the legal support you need. I have helped countless individuals in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County combat a termination case to retain their parent-child relationship.
To get started on forming your legal defense, call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 for a consultation. I’m here to protect your parental rights.