Parenthood is a lifelong responsibility, as you may be aware. However, for some parents in Tennessee and elsewhere, parental responsibility can be taken away by the family court. You may be interested in finding out how the termination of parental rights works.

According to FindLaw, a parent whose rights have been terminated loses all legal rights to the children, including custody, visitation and making decisions on behalf of the children. Why would the court take away a parent’s rights to see and care for his or her children, you may wonder? The following reasons are the most common ones for terminating parental rights:

  • Chronic or severe physical or sexual abuse
  • Neglect or abandonment
  • Failure to support the child or maintain contact
  • Long-term alcohol or drug dependence
  • Significant mental illness or deficiency
  • Conviction of certain felonies or lengthy imprisonment that would cause the child to enter foster care

You should also know that a parent may choose to surrender his or her rights, or they can be terminated if the father does not claim paternity. As you know, parenting a child is difficult even when both parents are involved. If you are considering having your ex’s parental rights terminated, you will need to consider your situation carefully, as well as think about whether the decision is more likely to benefit you and your children or make your circumstances more difficult. Since this is a complex topic, the information in this blog is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.