Termination of Parental Rights in OC Southern California
Termination of parental rights in Orange County CA is the first step in moving forward in a variety of family law situations. In order for a new person to have legal rights as a parent of a child, the rights of the current legal parents must be terminated.
In some cases, the parent voluntarily gives up their parental rights, while in others, the Court determines that the parent is unfit and terminates the parent’s rights.
It is important to remember that parental rights come with parental obligations, and terminating parental rights terminates the right to child custody and visitation, as well as the obligation to pay child support.
Under Which Circumstances Are Parental Rights Terminated in California?
When a parent is found guilty of mistreatment, including abuse, neglect, or abandonment in juvenile dependency court, the court may terminate the parental rights, making the child a ward of the Court. The same may happen if the parents are mentally or physically incapacitated, which includes substance abuse.
In adoption proceedings, parents may voluntarily give up their parental rights in order to allow for their child to be adopted.
Parental rights may be terminated by the Court if the Court determines that it is not in the child’s best interests to continue a relationship with a parent (for example, if the parent has abandoned the child or has been convicted of a felony).
A child who is at least 14 years old may petition the court for a legal emancipation. This means that the child is legally an adult, and it is up to the Court to determine whether this is in the child’s best interests. Parental rights must be terminated in order for the child to legally be considered an adult.
A stepparent may adopt a child if the noncustodial parent voluntarily terminates their parental rights, or if the Court finds that it is in the best interest of the child (for example, if the legal parent has abandoned the child).
How to Initiate the Termination of Parental Rights in Southern California
It is always smart to consult with a knowledgeable custody and parental rights attorney when you’re dealing with the termination of parental rights, regardless of your position on the case. If you’re considering taking over the parental rights of a child, if you’re considering giving up your parental rights, or if you’re trying to protect your parental rights, you’ll need to work with a skilled parental rights lawyer to prove that your decision is in the best interest of the child.
At Yanez & Associates, our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys are here to help. We will listen to your issues and help you find the best legal solution for your situation. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.