The termination of parental rights means that the relationship between a parent and a child will no longer exist, which will allow the child to be adopted by someone who is not a biological parent. While it is believed that terminating rights is as simple as signing a piece of paper, terminating parental rights can be a complex process and is something that is taken very seriously in Minnesota courts.
The law allows for the termination of parental rights to be voluntary or involuntary. No matter the way in which the rights are to be terminated, a Cottage Grove divorce lawyer can help on one side or the other to ensure the best possible outcome in the case.
Minnesota law states that a parent who wishes to terminate their parental rights has the right to do so as long as they give written consent. However, the termination may not be as easy as it may sound. Even when the parent says in writing that they want to terminate their rights, a judge will still need to make a determination as to whether or not the parental rights are being terminated for a good reason. Even if the other parent agrees, the judge is the one who has to decide.
Because judges can be reluctant to terminate parental rights, the process can be very challenging. Another person more or less has to be waiting and willing to adopt the child in question for the judge to allow the termination. If the custodial parent is against termination, it is unlikely that the judge will favor it.
Involuntary termination occurs when the parent whose rights are to be terminated does not want them to be terminated. This is a case that calls for a Cottage Grove family law attorney to intervene. There has to be compelling evidence that termination is in the best interest of the child. The county attorney is the one to pursue such matters and it is the county attorney that bears the burden of proof. Situations that may be grounds for involuntary termination include:
- Failure to pay child support
- Failure to provide parental support
- The parent is unfit
- The parent caused harm to the child
Parents are given every opportunity to demonstrate that they are fit to take care of the child before the judge will ever grant a termination of their rights.
Contact A Cottage Grove Family Law Attorney
If you are seeking to terminate a biological parent’s rights, if you wish to terminate your own, or you are fighting an involuntary termination, you need an experienced attorney working for you. You need an attorney who can navigate the complex laws surrounding parental rights. Because you are a parent, you do have rights and it is important that they are defended. To learn how the Burns Law Office can help you, call us at (952) 898-6834 or fill out the form on this page to schedule your free initial consultation.