Although parents have strong protection when it comes to their parental rights, multiple Alabama situations may justify terminating parental rights.
Alabama law outlines the proper procedure for terminating the parental rights to a child, which include the right to child custody and the right to make decisions for the child. The court in Alabama may terminate a parent’s rights if they fail to support, encourage, or protect their child.
An experienced Birmingham child custody attorney can provide assistance to protect and defend you if you are facing termination of your parental rights in Alabama.
What Termination of Parental Rights Mean
When a parent expresses no desire, intent, or ability to care for their child, the court may order parental rights termination.
When parental rights in Alabama terminate, the parent no longer has the right to be involved in raising the child or to make decisions for the child.
A parent who loses or signs over their parental rights no longer has the right to have any contact with their child, whether in person or by phone, mail, or computer.
They also lose their right to any information about their child, including medical information and educational records.
If you are facing termination of parental rights, contact a family law attorney to discuss your rights.
Grounds for Termination
Termination of parental rights in Alabama may be voluntary or involuntary. Whether involuntary or voluntary, the court determines what is in the child’s best interest.
If it determines that termination would be in the child’s best interest, termination of parental rights in Alabama will likely occur.
Voluntary termination of parental rights involves one parent signing over parental rights in Alabama.
When granted, the termination ends the relationship between the parent and child. There may be several reasons a parent might agree to a voluntary termination of parental rights. For example,
- They want to allow someone to adopt the child;
- They know they cannot care for the child; or
- They want to be able to stop paying child support.
The parent requesting parental rights termination must prove to the court that their request is in the child’s best interests.
Involuntary termination of parental rights occurs only in the most severe cases. Grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights in Alabama include the following:
- Abandonment of the child;
- Long-term mental or emotional illness;
- Long-term alcohol or substance addiction;
- Abuse or neglect;
- Sexual offense;
- Failure to support a child; and
- Long-term incarceration caused by a felony conviction.
The Department of Human Resources (DHR) must prove that termination of parental rights serves the child’s best interests by clear and convincing evidence.
The DHR presents evidence that the parent is unable or unwilling to care for their child and will be unable or unwilling to parent their child for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, there must be no viable alternative other than to terminate parental rights.
How Can an Attorney Help with Termination of Parental Rights in Alabama?
If you feel you’ve suffered wrongful termination of your parental rights, act quickly to assert your rights. Every termination of parental rights in Alabama is different. Each case involves specific, individual circumstances.
For over 40 years, the attorneys at The Dagney Johnson Law Group have provided compassionate legal services to all clients.
Contact our office today for a free consultation to review your case.