Posts Tagged ‘parental rights’

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.

How A Biological Father May Be Denied Parental Rights In New York

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

In the state of New York, the courts definition of “legal parent” is not always necessarily based on biology.

For instance, if the mother was married at the time the child was either born or conceived, then that husband is considered to be the legal father of the child. Note that he does not have to be the biological father, and likewise, an unwed, biological father is not considered the child’s legal parent unless the father has signed what is known as an Acknowledgement of Paternity.

For fathers that didn’t know of the pregnancy or the child, sometimes there can be major hurdles if attempting to adopt the child.

The biological father must start to establish a significant parental role in the child’s life, which can include paying for birth expenses or child support expenses. Like most other custody cases, the fitness of the father to parent will be something that the judge will take into consideration when determining the custody dispute.

Conversely, fathers who do not provide support during and after pregnancy, who don’t show the ability to even provide the support, or those who have developed drug and/or alcohol problems are more likely to be denied the right to battle for the child in the event that they are placed in the care of either the biological mother or adopting parents.

An unmarried father is sometimes limited in how often they have the chance to be a significant parental figure in the child’s life, so it is important to form a parental relationship with the child. Get legal recognition that you are the child’s father, and the right to have a say in parental decisions.