Termination Suits

Termination SuitsTermination Suits

We’ve discussed in great detail the court’s commitment to protecting a child’s best interest when it comes to everything from a standard divorce to issues of conservatorship, possession and access, and parentage suits.

Looking out for a child’s interest can also mean completely severing the parent-child relationship. In this blog, we will attempt to discuss these termination suits in a digestible conversation.

The Goal

The 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:

  1. When a parent voluntarily wishes to relinquish rights.
  2. When an acknowledged or adjudicated father is determined to not be the father through genetic testing.
  3. When the parent is unable to care for the child because of mental or emotional problems.
  4. 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.

That’s the nuts and bolts of what a termination suit is and why it is used. Below is a breakdown from the Texas Family Code of some of the various statutory grounds for termination suits.

Parent consented to termination

  1. Parent signed an affidavit to relinquish rights to the child
  2. Parent filed suit to terminate own rights

Parent abandoned or did not support child

  1. Parent voluntarily abandoned child for 3-6 months and expressed no interest in returning and did not provide adequate support
  2. Parent did not support child for one year
  3. Parent abandoned child without identification
  4. Father voluntarily abandoned pregnant mother

Parent endangered child

  1. Parent placed child in dangerous conditions or surroundings
  2. Parent engaged in dangerous course of conduct
  3. Parent had rights to another child terminated for endangerment
  4. Parent endangered child by abusing drugs
  5. Mother caused child to be born addicted to drugs or alcohol

Parent engaged in criminal conduct

  1. Father caused pregnancy by criminal act
  2. Parent was convicted for a child’s death or serious injury
  3. Parent will be incarcerated for at least two years
  4. Parent was convicted of murdering child’s other parent

Parent otherwise unfit

  1. Child was born alive after abortion
  2. Parent did not comply with court-ordered service plan
  3. Parent caused child’s absence from school or home
  4. Alleged father did not register, cannot be served, or has not responded
  5. Parent cannot care for child because of incapacity

Was this blog helpful? If it was not, or you simply have additional questions, please give our knowledgeable staff at Nelson Law Group, PC a call. Our staff is always available.