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On what grounds can a parent’s rights be terminated?

| Oct 5, 2020 | Divorce |

There are many reasons a parent may wish to consult with a family law attorney regarding the termination of parental rights. For example, a parent may feel concerned about the fitness of their co-parent. In another example, a parent may believe that their co-parent is seeking termination of their parental rights.

In either scenario, family law courts in Tennessee typically strive to preserve family ties for the good of any children involved. This means there must be a valid reason to seek the termination of a parent’s rights. Further, a court will require proof before it resorts to something as drastic as severing parental rights. Some of the reasons a court may choose to terminate these rights include:

  • Extreme abuse of the child (physical, mental, emotional, sexual, etc.)
  • Extreme neglect of the child or failure to provide for the child’s basic needs (such as food, shelter and clothing)
  • The parent suffers from long-term drug or alcohol abuse.
  • The parent is mentally unfit to care for the child.
  • The parent has been convicted of a crime and faces long-term incarceration.
  • The parent cannot or will not financially support the child.
  • The parent has failed to comply with a court order

The list above is far from exhaustive, but it should paint a picture of what family law courts look at when deciding whether to terminate a parent’s rights.

Whether you are seeking to terminate your co-parent’s rights or trying to preserve your rights, you may need guidance from an experienced family law attorney. Such guidance can empower you to explore all your options and make decisions that will support the health and well-being of your child.