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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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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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