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Termination of Parental Rights in Florida

With some exceptions, essentially every child’s biological parent is automatically given legal rights in regards to the child. What are those rights? Some of the rights that a biological parent is automatically  given include the following:

  • The ability to be around the child/children
  • The ability to make the decision on who else can have access to the child/children
  • The ability to make decisions regarding the child/children

Being someone’s parent also comes with legal obligations that must be met. A parent has a variety of responsibilities that are related to the child, including providing shelter, food, financial support, an education, and healthcare.

The termination of parental rights in Florida will eliminate the legal rights and the legal obligations that relate to the child or children. There are various reasons why a Florida parent’s rights can be terminated.

What Are Some Reasons To Terminate Parental Rights?

There are some parents who will make the decision to terminate their own rights or to eliminate the rights that the other parent have. A parent can make the decision to willingly terminate their parental rights. When a parent willingly gives up their rights to a child it is usually done with the intention of placing the child up for adoption. A child cannot have more than two legal parents. This means that one of the parents will need to relinquish their rights if someone else is going to have the rights to a child.

A parent’s legal rights can also be terminated in other situations:


Many people do not realize how extensive the term abandonment is. There are various circumstances where the child is left in a location by a parent. Generally, when a child is constantly being left in different homes or locations by a parent, it means that the parent likely has not tried to bond with the child or form any type of connection with the child. When a parent leaves a child and cannot be reached after 60 days have passed, the legal rights that he or she once had can be ended.


If a parent has been in prison for an extensive period of time, he or she can have the legal rights terminated. The decision to terminate the parental rights will also take into consideration the crime that was committed by the parent.


If it has been determined that the child’s health and well-being have been threatened, there can be a termination of parental rights. If a child has been physically abused, emotionally abused, or mentally abused severely, the court can make the decision to terminate the rights.

In order for parental rights to be terminated, there will need to be a petition in place. A person who has the child in their custody is able to start the petition process. There must be reasons listed about why the person feels the parent’s rights should be terminated. When a parent has been proven to exhibit intolerable conduct, the court is more likely to take away parental rights.

After the petition has been reviewed, there will be a hearing scheduled by the court. During the hearing, the court will allow everyone to speak and show any evidence they may have regarding the claims that have been stated in the petition.  The best interests of the child or children will be the basis of the court’s decision.

Are you thinking about beginning a process to have a parent’s legal rights terminated? Was a petition to terminate your parental rights recently filed against you? If you are ready to discuss all of your legal options, please do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule a consultation and speak with a Boca Raton Divorce Lawyer.