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Ask The Judge Your Own Question
The Judge
The Judge, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 703
Experience:  Active family lawyer & former Family Court judge with over 30 years experience in family law.
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how to terminate someones parental rights

Customer Question

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Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  The Judge replied 9 years ago.

To terminate a parent's rights, you must file a petition in the court where the child resides alleging specific grounds for the termination.

These are the specific grounds for termination in Nebraska:

The parents have abandoned the juvenile for 6 months or more immediately prior to the filing of the petition;

The parents have substantially and continuously or repeatedly neglected and refused to give the juvenile or a sibling of the juvenile necessary parental care and protection;

The parents, being financially able, have willfully neglected to provide the juvenile with the necessary subsistence, education, or other care necessary for his or her health, morals, or welfare or have neglected to pay for such subsistence, education, or other care when legal custody of the juvenile is lodged with others and such payment ordered by the court;

The parents are unfit by reason of debauchery, habitual use of intoxicating liquor or narcotic drugs, or repeated lewd and lascivious behavior, in which conduct is found by the court to be seriously detrimental to the health, morals, or well-being of the juvenile;

The parents are unable to discharge parental responsibilities because of mental illness or mental deficiency and there are reasonable grounds to believe that such condition will continue for a prolonged indeterminate period;

Following a determination that the juvenile is without proper parental support or care, and reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family if required under the law, under the direction of the court, have failed to correct the conditions leading to the determination;

The juvenile has been in an out-of-home placement for 15 or more months of the most recent 22 months;

The parent has inflicted upon the juvenile, by other than accidental means, serious bodily injury;

The parent of the juvenile has subjected the juvenile to aggravated circumstances, including, but not limited to, abandonment, torture, chronic abuse, or sexual abuse; or

The parent has committed murder of another child of the parent; committed voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent; aided or abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit murder, or aided or abetted voluntary manslaughter of the juvenile or another child of the parent; or committed a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury to the juvenile or another minor child of the parent.

After you file the petition you must serve the other parent with citation. The other parent will then have a certain period of time, usually about 3 weeks, to respond to your Petition.

If the other parent does not respond, you may be able to terminate the other paren's parental rights by default.

Once you have filed the Petition and served the other parent with citation, you will need to schedule a court hearing and prove the grounds that you are basing your petition for termination on.

I hope this answers your question. If there is anything you do not understand, please let me know and I will be happy to explain further.

In the meantime, please click "Accept" so that I may be paid for may answer and any subsequent follow ups with you.

Thank you,

The Judge
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
how do i file a petition
Expert:  The Judge replied 9 years ago.

I'm just leaving to go to court. I want you to know that I will answer your question, but it will be later today or this evening.

In the meantime, please click "Accept" so that I may be paid for my answers and all of my subsequent follow ups with you.


The Judge
Expert:  The Judge replied 9 years ago.
A Petition to Terminate Parental Rights is a very complex document that you or your attorney must prepare exactly right, then file with the Clerk of the County in which you live. It's the document that asks the Court to terminate the parental rights.

Unlike simple divorce forms, there are no forms available on the internet to do your own termination. It is much harder than doing a simple divorce. So I can't point you to a web site that sells Termination of Parental Rights Petitions.

The procedure to terminate parental rights is also very complex and it is very easy to make a mistake that could make it impossible to complete the termination.

It's probably not a good idea to try to do this by yourself. I strongly suggest that you hire a lawyer to do it for you. If you can't afford to hire a lawyer, then try Legal Aid. They also have competent lawyers who can help.


The Judge
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
does it matter i had my child in 2001 and at the time i was and still am married to a person other than the father
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
my child has the fathers last name but his name does not appear on the birth certificate the fathers space is blank
Expert:  The Judge replied 9 years ago.
The fact that you were and are married to someone other than the father makes a huge difference. Under Nebraska law, your husband is presumed to be the biological father of the child regardless of what the birth certificate says.

The effect of this is that the biological father has no legal rights concerning your child until he takes affirmative steps to establish his rights. Your husband has all of the legal rights that a parent can have, even though he is not the biological father..

In other words, at the present time, the biological father has no legal parental rights which could be terminated.

Let me know if you need further explanation.

Please click "Accept" so that I may be paid for my answer and subsequent follow ups with you.

Thank you,

The Judge
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
although there has been a paternity test the father is ordered to pay child support but does not pay and we have been recently summonds to court for him being in contempt
Expert:  The Judge replied 9 years ago.
Then he may be willing to agree to the termination of parental rights because it would stop his duty to pay child support. If you are on any type of government assistance, the state may object to the termination because they want to receive his child support to reimburse them for your government assistance.

Please click "Accept" so that I may be paid for my answers to you.

Thank you,

The Judge
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
can he demand visitation even though he has had nothing to do with the child for more than two years now
Expert:  The Judge replied 9 years ago.
Yes, he can. Visitation is one of the rights that a parent has. The visitation may be restricted or supervised because he has had nothing to do with the child for 2 years. But it won't be totally denied. Typically, the judge will want him to prove that he really wants to be involved with the child by establishing a pattern of consistent visitation before he allows him to have total access to the child.

Please click "Accept" so that I may be paid for my answers.

Thank you,

The Judge
The Judge and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
what should i do the father is a felon with a violent history

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