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When are parental rights terminated?

The termination of parental rights by a court is something that is not taken lightly. This will cut the legal ties between the parent and the child, but unfortunately, emotional ties are not so easily severed. There are numerous instances when a Texas court may decide to terminate the parental-child relationships. Here are a few of them:

-- The parent abandoned the child voluntarily and stated his or her intent not to return.

-- The parent knowingly placed or allowed the child to stay in conditions that endanger the emotional or physical well-being of the child.

-- The parent knowingly refused to enroll the child in school as required.

-- The parent received a conviction or was put on community supervision for the serious injury or death of a child. The criminal charges might include murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, aggravated assault, possession of child pornography or compelling prostitution.

-- While pregnant, the mother used a controlled substance or alcohol, resulting in the child's addiction to the controlled substance or alcohol.

-- The father's rights may be terminated if his location or identity is not known.

-- The parent has an emotional or mental illness that makes him or her unable to provide for the mental, emotional and physical needs of the child.

In many cases, the grandparents may seek custody of their grandchildren. One way to do this is to prove that the children's mother, father or both are not providing the appropriate care of the child.

As you can see, there are many reasons for terminating the parental-child relationship. The court will always rule in what the judge believes is in the best interests of the child. If you are a parent that could lose your parental rights, it's important that you are represented in court by a legal professional. This way, your rights can be protected and you can present your side of the case.

Source: Texas Statutes, "Sec. 161.001. Involuntary Termination of Parent-Child Relationship," accessed Aug. 05, 2015

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