Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights in Florida
Several courts across our nation recognize the importance of parent involvement in the lives of children. In fact, studies have shown that children who consistently communication – and even live with – both parents after divorce experience less stress. Under Florida law, it is the custodial parent’s responsibility to encourage and foster an ongoing relationship with the child.
Likewise, Florida law provides certain entitlements to parents. Specifically, these entitlements include the right to spend time with the child, make decisions affecting the child’s welfare, and decide who has access to the child.
State laws address this concern and in Florida, specifically, it is extremely difficult to take away parents’ rights. Under special circumstances, however, parental rights can be limited or even terminated by the court. For this reason, it is important to hire a knowledgeable and aggressive Orlando divorce attorney if you or someone you know is facing the possibility of parental right termination.
Under Florida law, there are several situations under which parental rights may be terminated. Some of these include when a parent:
- Has provided a written, executed surrender – generally, this occurs when a child is placed for adoption; a form must be completed by the parent and executed in front of two witnesses as well as a notary public.
- Threatened the well being of a child – any action (or inaction) that threatens the child’s physical, mental or emotional health that the court finds to be a continuing threat to the child’s welfare can be grounds for termination.
- Abandoned a child – this occurs when the parent has made no effort to establish a relationship with the child or has failed to make a substantial contribution in providing for the child’s welfare; abandonment can occur if a child is dropped off at a relative’s home and sufficient time has passed or if a parent cannot be located for more than 60 days.
- Is incarcerated – if the parent is imprisoned for a significant portion of the child’s life, has committed certain sexual or violent crimes, or shows a pattern of behavior evidencing continued incarceration throughout the child’s life is likely.
Parental rights can also be terminated as a result of a pending adoption or if the parent has as had other children placed out of the home or had rights involuntarily terminated.
Parental Right Help in Florida
If you or someone you know has questions relating to parental rights in Florida – or any other legal issue relating to family law – contact the experienced legal professionals at Steve W. Marsee, P.A. Serving the families of central Florida and beyond with years of experience Mr. Marsee can assist you in understanding your rights under the law. Call 407-521-7171 to schedule your initial consultation.