There are some rare family situations where a person needs a divorce, and also needs a termination of parental rights at the same time. Yet, understanding how these two work together can be confusing because there is no clear explanation in the family code.
This post will run you through how our law firm handles this situation successfully in Texas.
Always consult a family lawyer about your individual circumstances as advice on the internet is general and may not apply to you. Call us at (210) 271-2800 for a free telephonic consultation today.
Can I Terminate The Father’s Parental Rights in Texas?
Yes, if the father wishes to voluntarily terminate all of his parental rights, you can get his rights terminated. This will also remove your right to collect child support from the Dad if he does terminate his rights. A termination is usually used in the context of adoption, but it does not have to be. If it is in the absolute best interest of the child that the parent terminates his or her rights, then the Court can grant a termination.
If the parent does not want their rights to be terminated, then most often, you cannot terminate the parent’s rights. It is very difficult to terminate a parent’s rights to a child who wants to continue parenting the child. Most often, serious drug addicition or criminal history is required to prevail on a case to terminate parental rights involuntarily.
Again, it is not difficult to terminate the rights of a willing parent, wanting to terminate rights. It is quite difficult if the parent is not a willing participant in relinquishing rights.
Can I Terminate Parental Rights in Texas If I am Married?
Yes, there is no rule in the family code or otherwise that says a termination of parental rights cannot occur from one parent who is married to the other parent. Similarly, you can file a termination suit, and a divorce suit, and have them pending at the same time.
What is the Procedure For Terminating the Parental Rigths and Getting a Divorce?
First you will file a petition to terminate the parental rights of the child. You will draft an order that terminates the parental rights of the child, and has in the order the findings that show clear and convincing evidence why termination of the parental rights is in the best interest of the child. You will write the affidavit relinquishing parental rights, which contains all of the statutory requirement for this affidavit. The affidavit must be signed in front of two witnesses and notarized to be accepted. The affidavit serves as the waiver for the parent terminating rights so that the parent does not have to do any other participation in the termination lawsuit to have it go through to the end. You will set a court date and bring your affidavit and order to the court. You will present the case to the Judge, and as long as the Judge agrees that you have followed the rules of the family code in this process, the judge will grant the termination.
While the termination is pending or after the termination is over, you will file the divorce case. This will be under a different cause number. In the divorce decree, you will reference the ordered termination suit and cause number. The divorce decree will take out other references that typically the parent is given such as visitation and parental rights and duties. All rights and duties will be designated solely to the parent that still has retained rights to the child.
The divorce decree will be signed and notarized by the spouse that terminated rights. The divorce will then be presented to the court with the references to the termination suit previously ordered. This in effect will completely terminate any parental rights that the terminating parent had prior to the lawsuits.
Call our lawyers today. We are ready to help! (210) 271-2800. Free phone consulations.
Megan Victoria Cook
Texas Termination of Parental Rights & Divorce Lawyer & Managing Partner of Cook & Cook
I would be honored to talk to you about your family law needs in Texas. My telephone consultations are free. Call today (210) 271-2800. I serve military members throughout Texas. Email me at [email protected]