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The Termination of Parental Rights in Florida

Parents are typically the most influential people in a child’s life and are important to the growth of that child whether they are in the picture or not. Terminating parental rights is a very serious decision that courts in Florida consider only in extreme situations.

Reasons for Termination of Parental Rights

Florida courts will only consider taking away the rights of a parent if the relationship between the parent and the child seems dangerous, or if the parent does not want to have parental rights and responsibilities.

  • A parent may give up the rights to a child at birth and ask that the child be adopted by someone else.
  • A court may terminate parental rights of a parent that has been unreachable for more than 60 days.
  • A court may terminate parental rights if a parent is incarcerated and expected to remain in prison for most of the child’s life, particularly if the parent was convicted of a violent crime.
  • A court may terminate parental rights if a parent has committed a egregious act against the child.
  • A court my terminate parental rights if a child has been placed in foster care due to abuse or neglect, and the parent has not taken the proper steps to comply with court orders.

The Process of Terminating Parental Rights

In Florida, the termination of parental rights begins with the filing of a petition. The person wishing to parent the child or a court representative of the child’s interests will file a petition with the court requesting that parental rights be terminated.

This petition should be backed up with any evidence of the parent having abandoned the child or endangered the child.

Once the petition has been filed, the court will set a date to hear the details of the request. If the court agrees with the petition, the parental rights can then be terminated.

A child’s interaction with both parents is important to healthy development and affects the child throughout life. Florida courts will terminate parental rights when children are in danger or have been abandoned.

If you have concerns about your parental rights, contact The Law Offices of Ronald M. Zakarin to discuss your case.