Termination of Parental Rights: Answers To Your Questions (Part 2)

September 27, 2017 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
Fitting puzzle pieces together
Parents who’ve lost children to the court say it’s like pieces of themselves are missing.

Welcome back and thanks for joining us again. In the previous post we talked about termination of parental rights, and the differences between voluntary and involuntary termination. In this next section we’ll be looking at what happens when someone is facing a parental termination, so that you know what to expect if this ever happens to you. But first!… Remember that if you are ever facing a termination of parental rights, it’s critical that you NOT try to do this alone. Always have a skilled CPS defense attorney with you to ensure the best possible outcome for your case!

The trial:

A termination trial actually has two steps.  In the first step, the court decides whether there are grounds for termination.  In the second step, the court determines whether it is in the best interest of the child to terminate.  For this second step, courts generally approach the question in the same manner that would be used when deciding the best interest of the child in a custody case  

It is important to note that for this “best interests” analysis, the Michigan rules of evidence do not apply, and any relevant evidence can be admitted for purposes of making a decision on this issue.  Under Michigan Law, there is no provision for a jury trial in either of these steps, so your judge will decide the issues.  Obviously, it’s very important that parents be well represented for a termination trial.

After the trial:

If after a trial, the court believes by “clear and convincing evidence” that the parent is unfit or unable to care for the child and it is in the best interests of the child to sever the parent-child relationship, the court will typically order the termination of parental rights.  

What happens to the child:

The child will be placed in the temporary or permanent custody of the court. This means that the state assumes legal custody and responsibility for the child until a new guardian can be found. At this point a relative or foster parent could petition the court for guardianship rights. It also means that a child becomes potentially available for adoption by a relative or foster parent. Usually, when looking for a guardian for a child, the court will look to relatives of that child, or people that the child may be emotionally attached to, like a foster parent with whom they have been living.

Losing your parental rights:

Few State infringements on personal liberty are greater than the devastation of a termination of parental rights. A court ordered termination, just like any other final court order relating to a child’s custody or placement, can be appealed.

However,  there are strict time requirements that apply for the filing of such appeals. If you fail to file an appeal within the time limits, you will lose your opportunity to appeal the decision. If your parental rights are terminated, don’t wait. Seek immediate legal assistance from a qualified attorney who has extensive experience dealing with termination of parental rights cases.

Having your parental right terminated is devastating. If you or a loved one have been accused of harming or abusing a child in any way, or are facing a possible termination of your parental rights, contact The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. Our skilled parental defense attorneys are standing by to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.