If you have gone through a divorce or are in the process of adopting a child in Utah, it’s important to establish the termination of parental rights for absent or unfit parents. Failure to do so can result in a costly legal battle and may place your children in danger. Are you looking for a divorce and family law attorney to help you through the process? The Law Offices of David Pedrazas serves families in the greater Salt Lake City area and provides comprehensive legal services, including the process to petition to terminate parental rights and other custody issues.
Get a free case evaluation and answers to your questions on voluntary termination of parental rights and involuntary termination of parental rights by contacting us today. Practicing since 1998, David Pedrazas has been voted in Salt Lake City’s Top 10 Attorneys by the National Academy of Family Law Association.
Terminating Parental Rights in Utah
In Utah, and every other state, legislation exists to enable courts to terminate parental rights. Once grounds to terminate parental rights have been established, the state severs the legal relationship between a parent and child. Typically, this comes up as part of an adoption, but may occur for other reasons. A parent who wishes to end the relationship can voluntarily give up these rights, or they can be taken away.
Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights in Utah
Once a parent relinquishes parental rights, it can’t be undone. Voluntary termination is not automatically granted once a request is filed. A court decides each case based on the best interests of the child. However, it’s presumed that this generally isn’t in the child’s best interests, due to the obligation of financial support owed by a parent to a child.
Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights in Utah
If you need information on how to terminate parental rights involuntarily, it’s important to understand what actions trigger this. This includes parents who abandon, neglect or abuse a child, or are found to be unfit or incompetent. If a child is being cared for outside the parental home, has been neglected or abused, the courts may terminate parental rights. Similarly, if a parent willfully refuses or cannot provide for the child, they are likely to lose their parental rights.
When the parent won’t be able to exercise effective parental care in the foreseeable future or only makes a token effort to support or communicate with the child, they can lose parental rights. A parent is also required to show proof that they can protect their child from harm and act as a fit parent to keep their parental rights once a question to the contrary has been raised. Following a trial period when the child returns home, if the parent refuses or fails to give the child proper care and protection, they can lose parental rights.
Can Parental Rights be Terminated When a Parent is Incarcerated?
A parent’s criminal activity and incarceration can result in termination of parental rights due to abandonment. This happens when the incarcerated parent makes no attempt to contact or support the child from jail.
Next Steps: Contact Salt Lake City, Utah Child Custody Attorney David Pedrazas Today
If you or someone you love face voluntary or involuntary termination of parental rights, or if you are fighting to protect your child from an unfit parent, contact the Law Offices of David Pedrazas. Set up a free consultation to discuss your options. Don’t make any decisions without careful consideration and the help of a qualified family law attorney.