Answering Questions About the Termination of Parental Rights
Terminating a parent’s rights is a legal procedure that is both permanent and irreversible. Once a parent’s rights are terminated, the parent-child relationship can no longer be restored. Whether you are a parent, grandparent or caregiver seeking to terminate the parental rights of the child’s mother or father, or a parent in risk of losing his or her parental rights, obtain experienced legal help before making any life-changing decisions.
At Avallone Law Associates, our Philadelphia attorneys understand the complexity of cases involving the termination of a parent’s rights. Our law firm offers 35 years of experience advocating for clients on either side of highly contested parental termination cases. We apply our comprehensive background and legal skills to help secure our clients’ rights. For experienced advocacy and legal counsel, contact us today to meet with one of our firm’s highly skilled Philadelphia family law attorneys.
Representing Clients Seeking to Terminate a Parent’s Rights
A custodial parent can file a private termination petition after six months of abandonment of the child. The absent or unfit parent is notified and a hearing date set. If that parent consents or fails to show up at the hearing, a petition to confirm consent or petition to terminate rights is entered. An adoption hearing can immediately be conducted. This process eliminates the possibility of a parent resurfacing years later to assert his or her parental rights.
If the parent contests the termination, a hearing is set and litigation commences. The court will investigate and consider many factors:
- Did the parent have any contact or provide any support?
- Was he or she thwarted in trying to have contact?
- What would be the psychological impact on the child?
- Is there evidence of drug use, or physical or sexual abuse?
Our legal team works directly with you to help you prepare for the hearing and provide any documentation that will convince the court to rule in your favor. If the petition is granted, an adoption hearing is then conducted. We can also handle name change petitions at that time.
Handling Either Side in Disputes Over Terminating a Parent’s Rights
- Every case involving the threat to terminate a parent’s rights is fact-specific. We offer a hands-on approach focused on understanding why a mother or father has been questioned as an unfit parent. In Pennsylvania, a mother or father can lose his or her parental rights even if the parent did not abuse or neglect their child. Parents can be found guilty by association, if they entrusted a caregiver who ultimately abused or neglected their child.
- The attorneys at our law firm gather as many facts as possible when defending mothers and fathers at risk of losing their parental rights. Part of our background includes working with medical experts to help illustrate that the injuries in question were not inflicted by an adult. We also bring in psychological experts to testify about the parent’s behavior, showing the parent has no abuse tendencies.
Handling Dependent Child Litigation
In cases of severe abuse or neglect, state authorities may become involved. If you are currently under investigation or have received official notice of a finding of abuse or neglect — your children could be removed from the home (at least temporarily) or the state could seek to terminate your parental rights altogether. Our experience in dependent child litigation and in dealing with the Department of Human Services (DHS) is an invaluable asset to have working for you at this critical time.
Contact Our Legal Team With Over 35 Years of Experience
Contact our law firm online or call us at 215-253-3855 to schedule a free initial consultation. When you select our law firm, you will work directly with a highly skilled lawyer who has experience handling both sides of termination of parental rights cases.
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