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Photo of attorney William Marcus Wilkerson
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Grounds for the termination of parental rights in Texas

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2021 | Family Law |

When one becomes a parent in Texas and elsewhere, it is likely that they consider all the future memories he or she will make with their child. Unfortunately, not all parents remain active in a child’s life. This may be due to a split or a divorce, but it may also be due to abandonment or a parent having their parental rights terminated. As such, this could evolve into a complex and emotional child custody matter.

Termination of parental rights

Having parental rights terminated is much more than a parent no longer being able to see a child. It means that a parent has zero legal rights to their child. In other words, the parent does not have the right to see the child, make decisions regarding the child or have information about the child. He or she will no longer have any ties to the child.

A legal matter involving the termination of parental rights could occur for various reasons; however, it commonly occurs when Child protective Services or CPS gets involved after observing or hearing that certain events or situations have occurred.

Grounds for termination

There are various grounds for terminating parental rights; however, the most common is endangerment. Based on Texas law, this is defined as exposing a child to conduct of an environment that endangers the child’s physical or emotional well-being. Conduct or factors that contribute to the finding of endangerments includes substance abuse, criminal acts, exposing a child to sexual predators and failing to provide basic needs, such as food clothing, medical attention and supervision.

Other grounds for termination include abandonment, failure to support a child, criminal activity and imprisonment, court-ordered service plan, drug use, mental illness and relinquishment. Whether one or more of these grounds are present, one thing is certain in these matters. The child’s best interests must be considered when determining whether to terminate parental rights.

Whether a parent is evidencing the need to terminate the parental rights of the other parent or a parent is fighting to maintain their parental rights, it is imperative that one fully understands the matter. It can become very complex and emotional, making it difficult to navigate. Thus, it is important that parents take the time to fully understand their rights, exploring what actions he or she could take.