There are a number of situations in Texas where it becomes necessary to terminate the rights of a biological parent. You may be a stepparent seeking to adopt the children of a new spouse—to do so, you must terminate the non-custodial parents rights. There may be evidence of child abuse, neglect or abandonment.
At Len Conner & Associates, P.C., we understand the process for obtaining a termination of parental rights in Texas. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at (972) 445-1500 or (817) 288-4168 if you’re in the Dallas / Fort Worth Area. Call us toll free at 1 (877) 613-5800.
Terminating a Parent’s Rights in Texas
Under Texas law, the rights of a parent to the care, custody, companionship or management of minor children are “constitutional interests far more precious than any property right. Though the courts in Texas are reluctant to interfere with a parent’s rights, they will not, however, place the parents’ rights above the physical and emotional health or well-being of the child. Accordingly, while parental rights are given great weight, they are not absolute.
A parent may always voluntarily terminate their parental rights, provided they are of sound mind when making the declaration. This is frequently done in stepparent adoptions.
To involuntarily terminate a parent-child relationship in Texas, however, the court must determine that doing so is in the best interests of the minor child. In addition, the court must find that one of the conditions listed in the Texas statute, Section 161.001 of the Texas Family Law Code, applies. Among the 20 specific grounds for termination of a parent-child relationship are:
- Leaving the child with someone else for lengthy periods of time or failing to provide adequate support
- Placing the child in conditions that endanger the child’s emotional or physical well-being
- Engaging in conduct that endangers the child’s emotional or physical well-being
- Voluntary abandonment of either the mother (during pregnancy and after birth of the child) or of a minor child
- Causing the child not to be enrolled in school as required by the Texas Education Code, or to be absent from home for substantial lengths of time
- The execution of an irrevocable or unrevoked relinquishment of parental rights
- Conviction of a criminal offense involving serious injury or death of a minor
- The termination of parental rights with respect to another child because of conviction of a criminal offense involving serious injury or death of a child
- Use of a controlled substance in a way that endangered the child
- Conviction of a crime involving a sentence of two or more years in prison
Contact Our Office
For experienced counsel in family law matters, including the termination of parental rights, contact us online or call our office at (972) 445-1500 or (817) 288-4168 if you’re in the Dallas / Fort Worth Area. Call us toll free at 1 (877) 613-5800. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation.