Some final thoughts on termination suits
As part of our ongoing conversation on termination suits, I think it’s important to look at the effect a terminated parent-child relationship has on certain legal rights. Simply put: terminating a parent-child relationship does not completely sever all rights and duties between a parent and child.
Below is a brief breakdown, per the Texas Family Code:
Right to inherit
Unless otherwise provided in the judgement, the child retains the right to inherit from and through the parent. For example, a child can be the heir of his/her half-sibling born to their mother AFTER their own relationship with the mother had been terminated. Note: This does not include inheriting benefits under the Wrongful Death Act.
Future child support
Terminating the parent-child relationship generally ends a parent’s duties to pay future child support. However, a court can order a parent to pay future child support if 1. the Department of Family and Protective Services has been appointed as the child’s managing conservator, 2. the parent is financially able to pay 3. the child was conceived as a direct result of sexual abuse of a child, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault or incest.
Past child support
Termination of the parent-child relationship does not absolve a parent’s duty to pay past unpaid child support.
Grandparent’s access rights
Terminating the parent-child relationship does not affect the right of the child’s biological or adoptive grandparents to seek access and possession.
Was this blog helpful? Remember from our previous blogs on this topic, the primary goal of a termination suit is to remove a child from a situation where they are being abused, neglected, abandoned or endangered by one or both parents.
It can also be appropriate under any of the following circumstances:
- When a parent voluntarily wishes to relinquish rights.
- When acknowledge/adjudicated father is proven to not be the father through genetic testing.
- When the parent is unable to care for the child because of mental or emotional problems.
- When the circumstances of the child’s conception or birth indicate that termination of the parent-child relationship is likely in the child’s best interest.
A suit terminating the parent-child relationship is considered a SAPCR and can be brought by either a private individual or a child-placement agency before or after the child is born.
If you have additional questions on this or any other topic, please give our knowledgeable staff at Nelson Law Group, PC a call. Our staff is always available.