Terminating parental rights

If a court finds one or both parents to be unfit, the judge can permanently terminate his and/or her legal rights as a parent. Examples include chronic abuse or neglect, abandonment, mental illness, alcohol and/or drug abuse, or a felony conviction for a crime of violence.  This is not done as a means of solving visitation or support issues.

Termination of rights can be accomplished in:

·         Family court – If a father’s relationship with his child is not in the child’s best interest, the court can terminate it.

·         Emancipation – A child over 14 can petition the court to become an adult before the age of 18.  The parents must give written permission.  If granted, the parent’s rights are terminated.

·         Juvenile Dependency court – If mistreatment is reported, the child can become a ward of the court, terminating parental rights.

·         Adoption – rights are terminated when the child is put up for adoption.

If you have questions regarding terminating your parental rights with your child, consult with an experienced Orange County Family Law attorney who will give you the advice you need and discuss your legal options with you.