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Situations in Which Parental Rights May Be Terminated

All parents are expected to protect their children’s physical and emotional wellbeing. A parent who is incapable of doing so or who poses an active threat to a child’s wellbeing may have his or her parental rights terminated.

In general, American courts operate under the philosophy that it is usually in the child’s best interests to have a relationship with both parents, which means both parents will still have visitation time, and likely custody rights. However, a parent may attempt to have the other parent’s rights terminated in certain circumstances.

The following are some examples of situations in which this could happen:

  • The parent abandoned or neglected the child and/or family in some way
  • The parent is incarcerated for an extended period of time
  • The parent has a history of egregious or dangerous conduct, including exposing children to shocking or immoral behavior
  • The parent committed physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or another party has committed such abuse with the consent of that parent
  • The parent has engaged in conspiracy to commit felony battery, manslaughter or murder against the other parent or one of the child’s siblings or close relatives
  • The parent chronically abuses drugs or alcohol
  • A newborn child tested positive for alcohol or some form of controlled substance after being in the custody of the parent
  • The child was a result of a sexual assault
  • The parent committed a crime resulting in him or her being registered as a sexual predator
  • The parent’s parental rights were previously terminated with the child’s other siblings

To learn more about when parental rights can be terminated and how you can protect your kids against an abusive parent, meet with a trusted Minnesota divorce and family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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