Termination of Parental Rights

When Termination of Parental Rights is in the Best Interests of a Child

When the court system grants a termination of parental rights, the parent is no longer the child’s legal guardian, and the parent-child relationship no longer exists. In the Florida court system, the primary concern is the best interests of the child. Florida law recognizes that the parental role is significant in the development and future of a child. However, there are grounds for voluntary and involuntary termination under certain circumstances.
An individual or an entity can file a petition for termination of parental rights to commence a dependency or adoption proceeding. Parents, members of the immediate family, a prospective adoptive or foster parent, a Guardian Ad Litem, or the Florida Department of Children and Families may facilitate a legal proceeding. Once granted, an order for termination of parental rights is usually irrevocable except when there is evidence of fraud, duress, or deceit.

Voluntary Termination

A parent may relinquish their rights to their biological child for an adoption to take place. A parent may recognize their inability to provide for a child’s basic needs due to age, long-term mental health issues, financial issues, alcohol or substance abuse, or failure to maintain a relationship with the child. Voluntary termination negates any legal parental rights for decision-making, visitation, or financial obligation. The court will only grant these cases if there is reasonable cause to approve the request and it is in the child’s best interests.

Involuntary Termination

The court system may terminate parental rights without parental consent if there is evidence that the parent or parents are unfit. Often, an unfit parent has engaged in egregious conduct threatening the child’s life, safety, or physical, mental, or emotional health. Grounds for involuntary termination under Florida law are:

DeLand Legal is a Compassionate Legal Advocate in Troubled Times

The termination of parental rights is challenging from a legal perspective and emotionally overwhelming for all the parties involved. Whether it is an adoption proceeding or a dependency case, having an experienced family law attorney on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome. At Downer Law, our seasoned attorneys understand the stressors that families face. We bring a balance of skill and empathy during times of uncertainty to facilitate our clients’ goals.

If you are seeking to terminate parental rights or if you are in jeopardy of losing your parental rights, we can help. We believe in strong advocacy for the best interests of a child and the unification of the family.

Contact Downer Law to schedule an appointment at our office.

We represent clients in Volusia, Seminole, and Orange county.

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