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Termination of Parental Rights: What is it, and can it be reversed?

Termination of parental rights is a court order that permanently ends the legal parent-child relationship when the parent is found to be unfit. Termination of parental rights is not granted by the courts for parents who mutually agree to terminate their rights to resolve visitation or support issues. When a parents rights are terminated, they can no longer make decisions for the child. When determining if a parents rights should be terminated, most states require the court to show with clear and convincing evidence that the parent is unfit, and that severing the parent-child relationship is in the child’s best interests. To qualify for termination of parental rights, it has to be determined that the child cannot safely return home because  of risk of harm by the parent. Though each state determines their own statutory grounds, there are a few common scenarios that may determine parental unfitness, including: Failure to support and maintain contact with the child Severe and ongoing abuse or neglect Physical or sexual abuse of the child Abuse or neglect of other children in the household Child abandonment Long-term mental illness of the parents Long-term substance abuse by the parent Involuntary termination of rights of the parent to another child Other various circumstances In California, parental rights can also be terminated if the whereabouts of the parent have been unknown for 6 months, the parent has not visited or attempted to contact the child is 6 months, the parent has been convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness, or the court has continued to remove the child from the custody of the parent or guardian and...
What Income Determines Child Support

What Income Determines Child Support

The decision to divorce can be very difficult. The end of the marital relationship can equate to a complete life change. Divorce and other family law problems are without a doubt, a complicated and often difficult matter – from spousal support disputes to marital assets – to the details of child custody and child support. There is nothing more important to a caring parent than his or her children. However, child support is one of the most stressful issues a divorcing couple has to deal with. It is probably the most often litigated issue in a divorce case. So, how is child support arrived at? What is considered income for child support in California? California Family Code Section 4058(a) states, “The annual gross income of each parent means income from whatever source derived, except as specified in subdivision (c) and includes, but is not limited to, the following: Income such as commissions, salaries, royalties, wages, bonuses, rents, dividends, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, social security benefits, and spousal support actually received from a person not a party to the proceeding to establish a child support order under this article. Income from the proprietorship of a business, such as gross receipts from the business reduced by expenditures required for the operation of the business”. The end of a marriage is the end of a legal relationship between two people. We, at the Riverside family law offices of Heath L. Baker, understand that every situation is unique. We know what you’re going through, and we’ll make sure you’re fully protected, get the...