parental rights termination

Terminating Parental Rights in Texas


Divorce hearings are complicated. Exchanges can lead to some unpleasant revelations. Some divorces, however, arise from a mutual agreement that the marriage is not working out. These cases are usually concerned with ironing out details. 

However, there are cases where one party hurls a serious accusation towards the other party. These cases can lead to serious disputes with tough consequences like the termination of parental rights. 

Negligence or Abandonment

The main cause of terminating parental rights fall under the category of neglect and abandonment. The court has to find clear and compelling evidence that the parent in question has voluntarily abandoned the child. 

There are conditions governing this situation. If the parent left the child without intent to return, the court will terminate parental rights. The same will apply if the parent left the child for 3 months without child support. However, If the child is left to the other parent, there is no negligence or abandonment. The rule only applies if the child is left with someone other than a parent.

The court could also take action if the parent leaves the child in danger. This would lead the court to question the parent’s judgment.

Abuse or Criminal Behavior

The following crimes lead to the termination of parental rights:

  • Serious Injury inflicted on a Minor
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Assault, Physical or Sexual
  • Indecency with a Child
  • Trafficking or Prostitution
  • Promoting or Possessing Child Pornography

Inadequate Evidence

The state of Texas respects the parental rights of the child and this is why they have to establish the parameters of terminating these rights. 

There are many cases wherein termination is being petitioned due to failure to provide child support. The court does not consider this in itself as a reason unless it is under the prevailing conditions stated above. 

The court requires evidence that is clear and convincing, and it should also be proven that the termination is truly in the best interest of the child. 

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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