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Texas child custody issues: Terminating parental rights

During a marital breakup, for whatever reasons, one parent may wish to opt out of his or her children's lives. Texas law makes that doable by having that parent relinquish his or her parental rights. This might happen when it comes to deciding child custody in the event of divorce. Parents may be able to terminate their parental rights of their own accord or a court will terminate those rights when it believes it is in the best interests of the child.

One party can, as well, petition the court to have an individual's parental rights taken away involuntarily. Usually this happens when a parent is not around or the child may be in danger being around the parent. The Family Code in Texas stipulates what types of actions would warrant the dissolution of parental rights. Some reasons include leaving the child in the care of someone else for six months or more without any support, if there has been abuse or neglect of another child in the past, keeping the child out of school or away from home, or the parent has been imprisoned for two or more years and can't care for the child.

Showing the court that terminating a parent's rights is in the child's best interests can help a judge to decide on a parental rights termination issue. The judge will look at such things as the feelings of the children involved, stability of home life, long-term plans for the children, among other things. By law, each parent must be notified formally of any proceedings that will take place.

A Texas attorney may be able to help his or her client in child custody cases when the client believes it is in the best interests of the children that the other parent should relinquish his or her parental rights. A lawyer may be able to offer sage advice on the process involved. Knowing the law ahead of time may save time and be less difficult on the children.

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