Archive for January, 2019

Is An Attorney Necessary To Voluntarily Terminate Parental Rights?

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

If a parent desires to forfeit parental or guardianship rights to their child or have been requested to do so and approve of this request, they must meet with a lawyer along with the child’s other parent. In this meeting, the lawyer will ensure that all the necessary paperwork is correctly filled out and that the termination of rights is legally allowed.

The ins-and-outs of a parent’s rights being terminated vary, sometimes greatly, by state, which is why it is highly advised to seek assistance from a lawyer.

Not considering some of the uncommon variations, below are the general processes for termination:

  • The terminating parent must sign a termination document, which should be drawn up by an experienced lawyer to confirm all legal angles are covered. The signature of the terminating parent generally needs to be notarized and be done before a witness, then the papers will be filed with the court.
  • The court will want to examine the case facts, and decide whether or not the termination is legal and fitting based on their own review. In most cases, termination of parental rights is only allowed for the purpose of someone else adopting the child. However, if the terminating parent is consenting and/or wants to take the action, and there is a good reason for it, a judge should be willing to go give the all clear. A lawyer can also help you with stating your overall reasoning for the court in this type of situation.

Hiring a lawyer is vital in cases where the parent that gives up their parental rights because it is required that the parent gives their explicit informed consent, in order to give up those rights. If both parents have legal representation, then it is easier to ensure the parent terminating their rights does not later argue that they were not fully informed. There will be explicit proof that they had retained legal representation, and that the lawyer aided them in understanding their rights, and in making a deliberate, informed decision.

What Does “Contested” And “Uncontested” Mean, And How It Can Affect Your Divorce

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

Generally speaking, there are two different types of divorces that you can get. Deciding between the two depends a lot on the circumstances of your case and the relationship between you and your spouse.

Matters like property division, child support, child custody, visitation rights, and spousal support are often the things that spouses will disagree on, which will bring your case before a judge. This situation shows the difference between an uncontested divorce and a contested divorce.

Contested Divorce

It is important to note that an uncontested divorce is not equivalent to no issues that are disagreed upon. The real point of an uncontested divorce is that the spouses are able to work together, at least to the point where a judge does not need to be involved to decide for them. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses would meet with a divorce lawyer to go through the steps of their case, with equal and impactful input from both sides. This differs heavily from a contested divorce, wherein the spouses are often not able to come to an agreement on the main issues, and they require a judge to preside over the case and rule for them. To put it into simpler terms, the person who initially files for divorce will include the terms under which they would like to end the divorce, including things like child support amounts, distribution of assets, and the like. If the other spouse doesn’t agree with these terms, they are “contesting” the divorce under these terms. That is when it goes before a judge, who decides for them.

Uncontested  Divorce

Because of the financial and emotional toll that courtroom divorces often impose on couples, many find it to be very beneficial to end their marriage through mediation, or an uncontested divorce. Not only is it much less expensive, but an uncontested divorce means the parties can avoid the drawn-out court procedure that comes with it. It is ultimately up to the spouses involved in the divorce to decide whether or not they can work amicably enough and come to enough of a consensus to have an uncontested divorce, or if it is the case that they are so far apart on the issues that a judge is required to come in and decide for them.