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Ending the rights of a parent

Texas parents are entitled to certain rights with respect to their children and have certain obligations. However, there are situations in which a court will terminate parental rights, effectively ending the legal relationship between the child and the parent. This can occur when a parent commits a certain crime or when a father does not claim paternity. Parents are also able to voluntarily terminate or give up their parental rights.

In every state, there are laws that govern the involuntary termination of a parent's rights. These rights can be taken away if there is evidence of sexual abuse, abandonment, severe neglect or instances in which a parent has failed to keep in contact with or support a child. A state may also terminate parental rights if there has already been the involuntary termination of parental rights for another child, the parent has been incapacitated by drugs or alcohol for a long time or the parent suffers from some of a long-term mental deficiency.

A conviction on certain felonies can also be a factor in the involuntary parental rights termination. The felonies can include violent crimes committed against the child or another member of the family. Children can be placed in foster care if there are no viable alternatives after the involuntary termination of parental rights.

Courts generally take the position that children should spend as much time as possible with each parent, absent one or more of the foregoing circumstances. People who are in a child custody dispute and who fear that they run a risk of losing access might want to have the help of a family law attorney when appearing before a judge.

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