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How can a father's parental rights he terminated even if the…

How can a father's...

How can a father's parental rights he terminated even if the father doesn't agree?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps has he taken? Has he filed any papers in family court?

No papers filed. I am asking for a friend, my friends end is the mom and has placement. Father has only supervised visits every other weekend because of a 5th owi with child in the vehicle.

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are they in?

Wisconsin

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Was incarcerated for 6 months of a 2year sentence. Father us on paper for the owi now still not to be drinking alcohol but does anyways. Manages to avoid getting busted thru the breathalyzer. Step Dad would love to adopt the child.

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3/17/2018
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,621
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok thank you

Good afternoon,

In Wisconsin, the termination of parental rights of only one parent at the request of the other generally cannot happen unless there is an accompanying step-parent adoption. In other words, the parental rights of a parent cannot be terminated unless there is a new parent ready and willing to step into that role. Wisconsin’s policy is that a child is entitled to have two legal parents to support them.

And, the willingness of a step-parent to adopt is not enough to trigger a termination of parental rights if the other parent does not agree. There are necessary grounds to be established for an involuntary termination of parental rights. For example, the most common ground is abandonment which is defined as a failure to visit or communicate for a period longer than three (3) months, unless good cause is shown as to why the parent failed to visit or communicate (i.e. denial or interference of periods of placement). Other grounds are failure to assume parental responsibility, abuse, incest, sexual assault, homicide or attempted homicide of the other parent and a parent who has a continuing disability.

Even if all of the above criteria are met, the court must then consider other factors when deciding to terminate parental rights. These factors include what is in the best interests of the child, the child’s family relationships (i.e. grandparents), the wishes of the child and whether the child can enter into a new stable family situation as a result of the termination.

I should point out that this isn't really limited to Wisconsin. As a general rule, what you will find across the country is that family courts are very reluctant to deny the possibility of a child having support from two parents and termination of parental rights is an extreme measure.

That's not to say there aren't situations where it can happen outside of a step-parent adoption -there are - but they rarely, rarely occur. One such instance would be where the state has been involved in taking custody of the children and the parents have not shown an ability or willingness to get their children back -then the state may move to terminate parental rights. Or, you can have a situation where one parent has severely abused or neglected a child or committed a horrific crime against the other parent. In these situations, a court may find it is in the best interest of the child to terminate that parent's rights.

Bot***** *****ne, while I sympathize with your friend's situation, the best chance they may have to terminate the rights of the biological father would be if there is a step-parent in the picture willing to be named as the father. And even then, it is not a guarantee.

Please let me know if I may clarify anything or provide you with additional information.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
There is a step father that has been the father figure for the past 3 years. So the OWiI with the child in the vehicle is not enough endangerment for the court to terminate?

Not likely. While a significant charge, as I said, termination of parental rights is an extreme measure, and one of last resort. It's not as significant as lets say, physical or sexual abuse of a child. Even in those cases, where a court may find that a parent has committed an act that warranted termination of their parental rights, the judge still has to find that it is in the best interest to do so.

Your friend has nothing to lose by speaking to a local family law attorney in their area who will have a better idea of how local judges approach the issue and what their chances are, but they need to be realistic in their expectations. If it was something that was easy to do, parents would be flooding the courts to terminate rights of the other parent.

RobertJDFL
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I understand thank you

You're very welcome. Thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Have a nice weekend.

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