Termination of Parental Rights
In any family-law case involving a minor child, the court’s main focus is what is in the child’s best interest. In most cases, it benefits a child to live with one or both parents. In some instances, though, the courts will find it necessary to remove a child from the care of their parents and permanently sever the parent's rights. The courts do not take the termination of parental rights lightly and will only take such action when it is necessary to protect the child. If you are concerned that your parental rights are in jeopardy, it is essential to speak to an attorney about your options. The capable Dallas family-law attorneys of McClure Law Group in Dallas understand the importance of maintaining the relationship between a parent and a child, and if we represent you, we will argue zealously on your behalf.Termination of Parental Rights in Texas
The termination of parental rights is a legal process through which a court ends the legal relationship between a parent and a child. With very few exceptions, the termination of parental rights is permanent.
In Texas, parental rights can be terminated on a voluntarily or involuntarily basis. Voluntary termination occurs when a parent willingly agrees to give up their rights, typically through a legal process known as "relinquishment." Even if a parent agrees to relinquish their rights, however, they will not be terminated until the court issues an Order of Termination.
Involuntary termination, on the other hand, is initiated by someone other than the parent, such as a co-parent, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, a family member, or a guardian ad litem, and is decided by a court.
To terminate parental rights involuntarily in Texas, there must be clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child and that one or more statutory grounds for termination exist. The Texas Family Code (the Code) provides a list of specific grounds for termination, which include but are not limited to child abandonment, endangerment, failure to support the child, a felony conviction, parental rights termination of another child, and mental or emotional illness that renders a parent unable to care for a child.
The process of terminating parental rights in Texas begins with the filing of a petition by the party seeking termination, usually the DFPS or another interested party. The court will then schedule a hearing to review the evidence and determine whether termination is warranted. The parent whose rights are being considered for termination has the right to legal representation and can present their case in court.
During the hearing, the court will consider the best interests of the child as the primary factor in its decision. This includes factors such as the child's physical and emotional well-being, stability of the home environment, and the parent's ability to meet the child's needs. The court may also appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the child's interests and gather additional information relevant to the case.
If the court decides to terminate parental rights, the consequences are significant. The parent permanently loses all legal rights and responsibilities toward the child, including the right to make decisions regarding the child's upbringing, education, and medical care. The child becomes eligible for adoption, and the court will make arrangements for their future care and placement.Meet With an Assertive Dallas Attorney
The termination of parental rights can irreparably harm the relationship between a parent and their child, but simply because termination proceedings have begun does not mean that there are grounds to end the parent-child relationship. If you are at risk of losing your right to parent your child, it is in your best interest to meet with an attorney to discuss your options for protecting your interests. The assertive Dallas family-law attorneys of McClure Law Group are adept at handling high-stakes family-law cases, and if you engage our services, we will fight to help you seek a favorable outcome. We regularly represent clients in Dallas, Richardson, McKinney, Rockwall, Irving, Fort Worth, Garland, Frisco, and other cities within Dallas, Rockwall, Grayson, Collin, Denton, and Tarrant Counties. To set up a conference, you can contact us through our online form or by calling 214.692.8200.