Terminating the rights of a parent is often referred to as a “civil death penalty.” While most parents behave as responsible caretakers for their children, and watch out for their best interests, there are times when such an extreme act becomes necessary. In extreme circumstances where the child is being abused or neglected then a parent may go to a California Court and request a termination of rights. There may also be situations where the parents agree to a termination so that a stepparent may adopt the child. Regardless of the situation, it is important that you correctly handle a termination case as the Court will strictly enforce all formalities. Our Orange County attorneys assist with such matters. Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
Lawyers handling the involuntary termination of parental rights in Anaheim, Santa Ana, and the rest of Orange County, California
California will involuntarily terminate the rights of a parent under extreme circumstances. The two most common grounds for termination in our state consist of when a parent or parents has abandoned a child. Also, a parent may file for termination if the other parent, for a period of more than one year, willfully failed to communicate with and to pay for the care, support and education of the child when he or she was able to do so. It is important to understand that the termination of parental rights is not something that a Court will take likely; the rules of evidence will be strictly enforced and the Court will err on the side of caution.
The first step in terminating a parent’s rights is to file a Petition with the Court. The Petition will need to articulate specific facts justifying the termination. These facts may include sexual abuse, physical abuse, drug addiction, or extreme neglect by the offending parent. After the Petition is filed then each party will have the opportunity to build a case as to why the termination should or should not proceed. The matter will be resolved at a bench trial where the Judge, and not a jury, will make the final decision. Having an attorney to assist you can make a difference in the outcome of your case.
Our Orange County family law lawyers assist parents dealing with the termination of parental rights. We will use your initial consultation to discuss whether or not a termination is justified. If such is the case then we will ensure that all procedural rules are followed and that your interests are fully protected throughout the case. We will use the discovery process to gather evidence related to one’s fitness to parent. This may include arrest records, drug test results, phone records, correspondence, and other documentation. We will aggressively represent you at trial and argue as to why the offending parent is or is not a threat to the child. We understand that there is no matter in family law more serious than this one. We will take the matter seriously.
Our attorneys service Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Tustin, Westminster, and Yorba Linda.
Orange County attorneys handling voluntary parental rights terminations for the purpose of stepparent adoption
There are also instances in family law where both parents agree upon one’s termination of their parental rights. These voluntary cases typically occur when one parent has remarried and they wish for their new spouse to adopt the children. By agreeing to the termination the new spouse will be free to adopt the children and, it should be understood, that the former parent will no longer be obligated to pay child support. Our Orange County attorneys assist with the handling of such matters as well as the subsequent stepparent adoption. Contact us today.