Generally, when it comes to established parenthood, there are underlying parental rights that the parents would have. These laws are well-established and provide parents with the rights to:
• Legally make decisions regarding the child’s health and general welfare of the child.
• Have legal, physical custody or visitation with their child.
• Provide financial support to care for the child.
The courts are normally very empathetic and have a significant amount of respect for parent-child bonds. They also attempt to keep parents and children together, whenever it is possible and legally correct.
Termination of the legal custody rights of parents is ordinarily available for extreme circumstances. This is because the termination results in:
• Permanently ending the parent-child relationship.
• Cutting off all rights to any inheritance the parent may have.
• Cuts all rights of custody and visitation from the parents. This includes the right to talk to the child.
• The parent would be removed from the child’s birth certificate.
• The parent doesn’t have to pay child support.
• The child can be up for adoption without the permission of the parents.
Only in extreme cases would there be a requirement for termination of parental rights. The judge may terminate both the legal parental rights as well as the custodial rights if there is proof the parent is unfit to care for the child.
Involuntary termination of parental rights differs in different states. However, the most common grounds for termination include:
• Abandonment by the parent.
• Severe abuse or neglect from the parent.
• Sexual harassment.
• Long-term mental illnesses of the parent.
• Long-term drug or alcohol abuse of the parent.
• If the parent murdered the other parent.
• If the parent gave up his rights voluntarily.
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