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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...
How Do I Terminate a Guardianship to Get my Kids Back?

How Do I Terminate a Guardianship to Get my Kids Back?

There may be a situation where, to regain custody of your child, you need to terminate guardianship. For instance, if grandparents can tell the child is not in a healthy environment because the parents are having marital problems or a parent is having substance abuse problems, the grandparents may request guardianship of the child. If the grandparents obtain guardianship, they will be able to make all the decisions in the child’s life. Then, if the parents find themselves in a stable relationship or with their substance abuse problem taken care of, they will want guardianship back. Then the parents will request a termination of guardianship. In such situations, the parents cannot just take the children back and be the legal guardians again. Guardianship is terminated when one of these things happen: The child turns 18 The child is adopted, marries, enters the military, or is declared an adult by court order The child dies before turning 18 The court ends the guardianship The first 3 things end the guardianship automatically. The last item requires a court order. Also, The party with guardianship to agree to terminate their own guardianship. If the guardian wants to resign, they have to show it would be in the child’s best interests to do so, and the court will appoint a new guardian. Guardianship can be terminated by the child if they are 12 years of age or older, the parents of the child, or the guardian. When appointing a new guardian, the court will consider: The child’s best interests. The person asking for termination of guardianship has to be able to prove that...