Grounds For Parental Rights Termination
When parents have continuously failed to provide proper care for their children and a juvenile court has ruled that the children are dependent, under certain circumstances parents’ rights to the children may be terminated.
If a child has been adjudicated dependent and the circumstances causing the dependency have not been corrected, the Division of Family And Children Services may initiate termination of parental rights proceedings. To terminate parental rights, a juvenile court must first find that a child is dependent. The court evaluates many factors to determine whether a child is dependent, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Lack of proper parental care or control
- Child abandonment
- The physical, mental or emotional neglect of a child
- The injury or death of a child’s sibling due to parental neglect or abuse
- Felony imprisonment of a parent, which has a demonstratively negative effect on the parent-child relationship
- A parent’s mental or physical deficiency or drug or alcohol use that renders him or her unable to provide adequate care
- Failure to pay court-ordered child support for more than one year
- Consent of the parents
Once a child has been deemed dependent in juvenile court, parents will be given the opportunity to reunite with that child by adhering to a reunification plan laid out by the court. If parents fail to meet the plan’s requirements and the court believes dependency will continue if the child is reunited with his or her parents, parental rights may be terminated.
Helping Parents Keep Their Parental Rights
At the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), the Child Protective Services (CPS) staff investigates claims of child abuse and neglect. If the accusations are found to be credible, CPS will initiate dependency proceedings against parents that may result in the termination of their parental rights if it is determined that reunification is not in the child’s best interest.
Private individuals such as grandparents or other family members and close friends may also file a dependency claim in an effort to have a juvenile court determine that a child is dependent, which may lead to the termination of a parent’s rights to his or her child.
Terminating a parent’s right to his or her child is an extreme measure. At the law office of Jody A. Miller, we help parents defend against dependency claims made by CPS and claims brought by private individuals and commit to reunification plans so they may continue caring for their children and keep their parental rights.
Contact Us Today
Don’t lose your rights to your child; contact an experienced family law attorney today. Contact Atlanta lawyer for termination of parental rights Jody Miller at 678-905-7562 or toll free at 866-319-0924. All consultations are confidential.