Can I have my ex's parental rights terminated in California?

Nearly everyone in the 21st century understands the many benefits that come with the preservation of family, especially during divorce and child custody proceedings. As such, family law courts across the country, including those in California, work to preserve the relationship between parents and children whenever possible. That is why judges rarely agree to end parent/child relationships.

However, there are occasions when a court may agree to terminate a parent's rights under certain circumstances. If you wish to terminate your co-parent's parental rights, you must be prepared to prove to the court that there's a good reason. As this can be difficult to accomplish on your own, a family law attorney can help you file a petition and show the court why it should rule in your favor.

The following section contains the grounds for termination of parental rights per California law.

  • The parent has abandoned the child: Sec. 7822 of the state's Family Code
  • The parent has neglected or treated the child cruelly: Sec. 7823 of the state's Family Code
  • The parent suffers a disability caused by substance abuse or moral depravity: Sec. 7824 of the state's Family Code
  • The parent was convicted of a felony (in some cases, this might not be a viable reason for termination): Sec. 7825 of the state's Family Code.
  • The parent experiences a developmental disability or mental illness: Sec. 7826 of the state's Family Code
  • The parent has a mental disability that makes him or her unfit to parent a child: Sec. 7827 of the state's Family Code

If you believe your child is in danger, please act quickly to find a legal solution. Even if termination of your co-parent's rights is not possible, you can seek a post-divorce modification of your custody and visitation order with guidance from a family law attorney.

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