Termination of Parental Rights

Generally, terminating parental rights means that someone who is considered to be the natural parent of a child no longer has any rights or responsibilities toward that child.

Termination can happen involuntarily, or voluntarily.  Utah law states that “any interested party” can seek to terminate parental rights.  That means that the state, a parent, grandparent, other relative, etc, can seek to terminate a parent’s parental rights.

The rights and responsibilities surrounding the parent/child relationship are protected by the constitution.  This means that terminating the rights requires specific processes before they can be terminated, and courts do not take this process lightly.  In Utah, usually you must show that the parent is (1) unfit and (2) that it is in the best interest of the child to have the parent’s rights terminated.  Thus, while a parent could be unfit, a court could still determine that it is not in the child’s best interest to terminate the parental rights.

I have been involved in cases on both sides of the termination; I have represented individuals who are having their rights assaulted, and I have represented individuals who have sought to terminate parental rights.  I recognize that there are times where it is inappropriate to take such a drastic action, and also times where these steps are warranted.  Please contact me for a free initial consultation if you would like to discuss any of these issues.