Questions over paternity often require resolutions in Texas family law courts. For instance, a couple has an unexpected pregnancy that they are not prepared for. Or, a father learns that a child or children that he pays child support for is not biologically his. And sometimes a parent may not be in a place to have a child or, even worse, may not be fit to raise children.
In extreme situations, it may become necessary to seek to terminate parental rights. In Texas, this is a complex process that requires that you file a lawsuit. If you are seeking to terminate the parental rights of your former spouse, it is important to talk to Colleyville attorneys in family law experienced in parental termination, especially if your ex-spouse is represented by a lawyer, is contesting your case, you need child support, or you believe your children may not be safe.
Ways to terminate parental rights
In Texas, there are two avenues to terminate parental rights:
- Voluntary termination, where a parent agrees to terminate their rights. The proper paperwork is filled out, signed, and filed. The parent then comes into court to testify that they are giving up parental rights. Voluntary termination may apply to biological and adopted children.
- Involuntary termination, where a parents’ rights are terminated without agreement and by the court. Circumstances leading to involuntary termination include abuse, neglect, abandonment, lack of support, lack of acknowledgement, and other behaviors that may be found to be criminal.
Reasons for involuntary termination
Poor parental behavior may result in parental rights being terminated involuntarily. This includes:
- Criminal behavior that results in a child’s serious injury or death
- A mentally or physically dangerous environment for the child
- Refusing to support the child
These reasons are common, but each case is unique. Rashelle Fetty takes the time to learn about the circumstances surrounding your child or children and work aggressively to seek termination in order to help protect them.
The Fetty Firm, Colleyville’s attorneys in family law, will advise you on how parental termination cases are handled. The firm will review the clear and convincing evidence standard that is required for involuntary termination. Voluntary termination requires that the parent proves that doing so is in the best interest of the child.