In most cases, those in family law prefer children to have a relationship with both parents after a divorce. However, as we at the law firm of Ebner, Nevins & McAllister are aware, in some instances one or both parents might not be suited to take care of the children or even to visit them. You and other Pennsylvania residents who are struggling with certain weighty issues involving an ex-spouse may be interested in learning about the termination of parental rights.

What is the termination of rights, you may wonder? FindLaw explains that a parent’s legal rights to care for or have a relationship with the children may be terminated by the court in numerous situations. Domestic violence and neglect are two of the most common reasons a judge may deem it necessary to protect the children by terminating the abusive parent’s rights. Other reasons can include the following:

  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Incarceration or conviction of certain felonies
  • Abandonment or failure to support the child
  • Mental illness or deficiency
  • Voluntarily giving up rights

If you are seriously worried about your children’s emotional well-being or physical safety when they are in the care of your ex-spouse, you may consider petitioning the court to have his or her rights terminated. Since doing so will also terminate your child support and eliminate help from the other parent, this is a careful decision to make. Child custody matters are rarely simple and are often contentious and heartbreaking, as our page explains. This usually necessitates experienced legal counsel.