Terminating your parental rights in Texas is a very serious decision. It’s so serious that it can only be decided by a court order.
Giving up your rights as a parent means that you give up any legal relationship with your child. Depending on the outcome in court, it could mean you are no longer allowed to speak to your child or visit them.
If you are thinking about giving up your rights as a parent, you will want expert legal assistance to walk you through the implications and the process. It’s important to work with a knowledgeable and skilled attorney that understands Texas family law and can help you navigate the complexities of your case.
We will need to make sure your rights are protected throughout the process and that you understand what happens if you terminate parental rights. For example, issues such as child support, inheritance rights, and medical support may come into play. Call me immediately to discuss your situation, especially if you are in one of the following situations.
Typical Circumstances Related to Terminating Parental Rights
Consider three common situations where a parent would decide to terminate their parental rights. Let’s look at them and review the legal implications associated with each case.
1. Parent Voluntarily Gives Up Parental Rights
You do not want custody or visitation of the child (or children), and you and the other parent agree to terminate your parental rights.
During this situation, you may want to know whether you would still be required to pay child support to the custodial parent after terminating your parental rights.
Although the court could order one or both parents to financially support a child under normal circumstances, in a termination case, the judge has complete discretion as to whether they will order the parent terminating their rights to continue to pay child support. That is a possibility, which is why it’s important that you have an attorney who knows the laws of the state of Texas to ensure that does not happen.
Furthermore, if you are the parent retaining your rights, once the other parent’s rights have been terminated, this would allow your child to be adopted by a future or current spouse.
2. Parent or CPS Terminates Your Parental Rights Involuntarily
The Texas Family Code provides for very specific circumstances where a parent may have their rights involuntarily terminated. If any of these specific circumstances apply to you or the other parent’s actions or inactions, you may have your rights or the other parent’s rights involuntarily terminated through a lawsuit filed by the other parent, a person with legal custody of the child(ren), or CPS (Child Protective Services).
In this situation, a parent or the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) can petition the court to terminate the other parent’s parental rights. There are forms to fill out, legal affidavits, and court hearings. It is a serious and complex legal affair. You may also want to know whether child support will be ordered or not.
Terminating the other parent’s rights under the specific grounds set forth in the Texas Family Code means that the parent will lose any custody or visitation rights they may have had. It means that they will have no say regarding the child’s upbringing, education, or medical care. They also will have no input if the child is adopted. It effectively removes them from a child’s life. So, it’s a very serious matter.
3. Mother or Father Gives Up a Child for Adoption
As a parent, you decide to give up your child for adoption. How do you legally terminate parental rights? And, can you change your mind at a later time?
In the case of adoption, a parent may legally terminate their parental rights to facilitate the adoption. While the process to do so is complicated and time-consuming, the petition is more likely to be approved if the child will be placed in the care of responsible adoptive parents.
As stated previously, an order for child support depends upon circumstances. Again, the court will always do what is best for the child. If an adoption places the child in a loving home with clear, stable financial support, then the parent(s) whose rights are being terminated will most likely be relieved of child support obligations.
Talk To Me Before Terminating Parental Rights
Giving up parental rights is a serious legal issue and not a decision that should be made lightly. You will lose input in your child’s life and will also likely lose your legal right to see your child.
Clearly then, if you are thinking about terminating your rights as a parent, you need to give it serious consideration, and you will want expert legal assistance.
My practice is dedicated to family law exclusively. Because I’ve been able to focus my attention solely on domestic litigation for my entire practice, I’m able to offer the expertise you need to help you feel safe and secure in navigating your case. I can help walk you through a very difficult decision regarding the relationship with your child.
I can also help you understand child support and other issues related to your parental rights being terminated or maintained. Please call my office today to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation. I help fathers and mothers in Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Harris County walk through these very difficult decisions and the corresponding legalities.
Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss the specific details of your case. I look forward to helping you during this time.