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Termination of Parental Rights

Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

When a parent-child relationship needs to end, you have options for termination of parental rights, but the options are limited.  Only a judge can terminate parental rights.  Many people seek to terminate the rights of the other parent, such as moms that want to terminate the parental rights of dads, or people who want to terminate their own parental rights.  In the state of Illinois, two parents cannot simply agree to terminate the parental rights of one parent.  The law does not allow for that kind of an agreement without additional factors satisfied.

For example, you can terminate your parental rights if another person is willing to step up to be come the legal parent of your child.  In other words, adoption would be one basis for the termination of parental rights. You cannot terminate the rights of your ex unless you have someone prepared to adopt your child or if other special circumstances exist.  Therefore, one of the best ways to get a judge to terminate the rights of a parent is by filing a petition for adoption at the county courthouse.

Giving Up Parental Rights

Another basis for the termination of parental rights relates to abuse and neglect. Many cases in which parental rights are terminated involve the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS).  The cases of parental rights being terminated due to abuse and neglect is a case you never want to be a part of.  The process typically begins with the Winnebago County States Attorney, or the States Attorney of Boone County or Stephenson County or whichever county in which the abuse occured, files a petition in court to “adjudicate” the child as abused or neglected.

If you fail to to show that you have eliminated the dangers to the child, you can have your parental rights terminated.  General speaking, parents in Illinois cannot just agree to terminate the parental rights of one of the parents without a judgment for adoption or determination of abuse or neglect.

Termination of Parental Rights and Child Support

Parental rights termination usually means the parent’s obligations are also eliminated.  This means that the obligations to pay child support is also usually eliminated when parental rights are terminated. It is especially typical for child support to end when parental rights are terminated by way of an adoption.

Certain circumstances will allow for rights to be terminated but leaving the financial obligations in place.  The cases where parents are culpable for seriously harming their children is normally the type of case where leaving child support in place is possible. The cases of serious harm to the child, along with the egregious or fraudulent behavior by the parent who faces the termination of rights, is generally where the judge may deny the termination of child support at the same time.

Rockford IL Family Law Attorney

If you have questions regarding termination of parental rights for either you or your child’s other parent, you will need an experienced family law lawyer to represent you.  Schedule a free consultation with Attorney Zachary Townsend today to learn more about your options for your family.

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