Termination of Parental Rights Lawyers in Clayton County Helping Clients Move Forward
The termination of parental rights in Georgia is very serious. A parent’s rights are well protected by the law, but there are situations that can arise where it’s in the best interests of the child for those rights to be terminated. Find out when parental rights are terminated and other answers to common questions about this topic below.
Going through parental rights termination is a complex process, and it’s also an emotional one. Whether you are a parent who is having their rights terminated or you are seeking termination, it’s important to understand what’s involved and have legal representation. If you have questions about terminating parental rights in Georgia, call our law office today.
What Is Involved in the Termination of Parental Rights in Georgia?
If there is a case where it’s suggested that terminating parental rights would be appropriate, there will be a hearing. Both the child involved and the parent have the right to legal representation. All of the parties will be able to provide testimony and evidence as to why they believe that this decision is in the best interests of the child or to provide an argument against it.
After hearing all of the evidence, the court determines whether to proceed with terminating parental rights. If so, it ends the legal parent-child relationship, and the parent no longer has any rights to the child. This means that they have no right to visit or be in communication with the child and are not able to make any decisions involving the child.
What Are Some Reasons Parental Rights May Be Terminated?
According to Georgia law, specific situations allow for a parent’s rights to be terminated. This can happen in juvenile court or the family court system, depending on the type of case. Below are some common reasons a parent’s rights may be terminated:
- Not providing proper parental care
- Being convicted of a violent felony or sexual offense
- Child endangerment
- Dangerous substance abuse
- To facilitate an adoption
What Is a Deprivation Case in Juvenile Court?
Deprivation cases are situations that involve some kind of parental neglect or abandonment. These cases are handled in juvenile courts because they involve the well-being of minors. A deprived child is one who has been left without proper parental care, which is defined as the “control, subsistence, [and] education” of the child that is required by law. Parents are required by law to ensure that their children are cared for and that their needs are met, and that includes the child being under their control (which can be an issue in juvenile delinquency cases) and that they are receiving a proper education.
Deprivation cases can also come from situations such as parental abandonment, including placing a child up for adoption without following the proper legal procedures.
Do I Have to Agree to Terminate Parental Rights?
Whether a party has to agree to parental rights termination is a common question, but the answer isn’t simple because it depends on the circumstances. For example, some parents try to give up their rights in an attempt to get out of a child support order. However, it’s not generally possible to voluntarily give up your parental rights in exchange for not paying child support. So, in this case, you wouldn’t be able just to agree to give up your rights.
However, if it’s the courts that are terminating the rights, you don’t have to agree. The courts have the ability to make decisions that are in the best interests of the children. In cases of abuse or neglect, the courts can pursue termination of your parental rights even if you don’t agree.
Terminating parental rights isn’t simple or easy in most cases, and you need the knowledge and experience of a family law attorney who has worked through this process before. Get answers to your questions and discuss the unique aspects of your case when you schedule a consultation with Lunn Law LLC. Call our legal team at 770-762-4628 to get started.