Termination of Parental Rights

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Termination of Parental Rights

Termination of Parental Rights attorney Serving Addison, Andrews, Argyle, Bedford, Carrollton, Colleyville, Coppell, Crane, Dallas, Denton, Euless, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garden City, Gardendale, Goldsmith, Grandfalls, Grapevine, Hurst, Irving, Justin, Keller, Kermit, Lake Dallas, Lenorah, Lewisville, Little Elm, Mc Camey, Midkiff, Midland, Monahans, North Richland Hills, Notrees, Odessa, Plano, Rankin, Roanoke, Southlake, Stanton, Tarzan, The Colony, Wickett, and Wink.


Parental rights may be terminated for any number of reasons, such as a parent’s imprisonment or a history of child abuse. For more information about the termination of parental rights in Texas, please refer to the article below.

Termination of Parental Rights Texas

Texas courts take the voluntary or involuntary termination of parental rights cases very seriously. Whenever possible, the court prefers to keep families and parental rights intact. However, under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to end the parent-child relationship such as if the parent voluntarily terminates their rights or if the parents abandoned the child.

Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

There are a number of grounds for the termination of parental rights. Each state has its own process regarding terminating parental rights. In Texas, individual parents can file for the termination of parental rights, or the court system can issue a court-mandated order. When it comes to involuntary termination, there are many situations where the court may require someone to terminate their parental rights, including:

  1. Endangerment
  2. Failure to Support a Child
  3. Criminal Activity and Imprisonment
  4. Court-Ordered Service Plan
  5. Drug Use
  6. Alleged Father
  7. Mental Illness
  8. Relinquishment

What Happens When Parental Rights are Terminated?

The Texas Family Code recognizes a parent as any person who is the child’s legal or natural mother or father. The legal parent could be a biological parent, stepparent, or adoptive parent. When a person’s parental rights are terminated, several things happen. The loss of parent’s rights means the parent will:

  • No longer have any legal rights to a parent-child relationship.
  • Give up the right to any contact or visitation with the child – this may be different in adoption or voluntary termination cases.
  • Have no part in raising the child.
  • Be removed from the child’s birth certificate.
  • No longer have a right to contest an adoption.
  • No longer have an obligation to pay child support.

Whether voluntary or involuntary, the court must approve a petition to terminate a parent’s rights. Signing the affidavit alone is not enough. The court must first hear the petition and review the complaint against the parent(s) and consider the child’s welfare and best interest. They will review any evidence submitted to the court and may conduct their own investigation into the claims. If there is clear and convincing evidence that the parent is unfit and reasonable efforts to reunite the family have been unsuccessful – only then will the court terminate a parent’s rights.

Terminating Parental Rights

Who Can File for Termination of Parental Rights?

Either parent can file for termination. If you are not the child’s natural parent, you can file if you are:

  • The alleged father of the child
  • A foster parent
  • A prospective adoptive parent
  • A close relative
  • The guardian ad litem filing on behalf of the child.
  • A legal guardian of the child
  • A person with the court-ordered visitation of the child
  • A person who has had the total care, control, and possession of the child for at least six months.
  • The managing conservator of the child
  • A person living with the child and the child’s parent, guardian, or conservator.
  • The Department of Family and Protective Services or Child Protective Services
  • A licensed child-placement agency, such as for foster care or adoption services

When Can I File for Termination of Parental Rights?

The process to terminate parental rights can begin at any time before or after the birth of the child. The time frame for when you can file varies based on who is filing and why. For example, if a man raising a child as his own learns he is not the child’s biological father, he must file within two years of that date. Consult with an experienced family law attorney to make sure you file within the proper time frame for the petition to terminate parental rights.

Reinstatement of Parental Rights

Texas courts take the termination of parental rights very seriously. As a result, it isn’t easy to reinstate a parent’s rights. Speak with an experienced family law attorney to see if your circumstances qualify.

Checklist: Grounds for Terminating Parental Rights

To terminate a parent’s rights, the state must prove that there is clear and convincing legal evidence to declare a parent as unfit. Reasons to terminate a parent’s rights might include evidence of:

  1. Severe or chronic abuse or neglect of any children in the household
  2. Abandonment – i.e., absent parent, prolonged lack of contact, interest in, or financial support of the child, or leaving a newborn at a safe-haven provider.
  3. Long-term mental illness or incapacity due to addiction
  4. Child exploitation or child molestation
  5. Involuntary termination of rights of the parent to another child
  6. Sexual abuse
  7. Violence
  8. Charges of human or sex trafficking of a minor
  9. Sex crimes against the mother resulting in the conception of the child.
  10. A felony conviction of violence against the child or another family member
  11. A conviction of any felony resulting in long-term incarceration, especially when there are no alternative placements – requiring the child to enter foster care.

How Can a Family Law Attorney Help Me?

A family law attorney will always have your rights and the best interests of your family at heart. They specialize in cases of divorce and help you through filling out divorce papers, mediation, custody, and more. A family law attorney is also experienced in other family matters such as adopting children, paternity disputes, dispute resolution between you and the other parent, modification of orders, and the termination of parental rights.

Should I Hire a Termination of Parental Rights Lawyer?

If you find yourself in a position where you’re facing involuntary termination of your parental rights, or if you believe that terminating the rights of the other parent is in the best interest of the child, then it’s important to hire a qualified family law lawyer. Navigating the complexities surrounding the termination of parent rights can be difficult without guidance. However, parental rights termination attorneys are familiar with the ins and outs of the laws surrounding terminating parental custody and rights. They take your rights as well as the parent and child relationship, safety, and best interest of the involved children very seriously.

Call the professional family law lawyers at the Jimenez Law Firm to learn more about divorce, child custody, and parental rights termination at (214) 513-0125 or contact us online.

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