Remove Parental Rights of a Non Custodial Parent

by Kimberly from Volusia County, Florida

Under what circumstances can I remove parental rights of a non custodial parent? The current non-custodial parent has recently filed for a power of attorney and given all parental rights to his parents and two sisters upon filing for disability.

Being that the non-custodial parent has never paid child support or has had any communication with his children, I am inquiring on the procedures and steps to take to file an injunction and request a legal name change of my children as well as removing the non-custodial parents parental rights.

Answer to Florida Child Custody Question

Dear Kimberly,

I suggest that you first ask your ex husband if he would voluntarily terminate his parental rights.

Sometimes this is all it takes, particularly if someone is in serious arrears on child support and/or has little or no contact with his children anyway.

In order for his parental rights to be terminated involuntarily, there must be a court finding of unfitness.

The most common statutory grounds for determining parental unfitness include:

  • Severe or chronic abuse or neglect;

  • Abuse or neglect of other children in the household;

  • Abandonment;

  • Long-term mental illness or deficiency of the parent(s);

  • Long-term alcohol- or drug-induced incapacity of the parent(s);

  • Failure to support or maintain contact with the child;

  • Involuntary termination of the rights of the parent to another child;

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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Absent Mother's Parental Rights Termination
by: Frances from Virginia

Can the mother of a 7 year old child who has been raised by her paternal grandmother in Florida, be forced to give up parental rights so the grandmother can adopt her? The mother has not had contact with the child because she lives in VA and has had ongoing drug addiction issues, but is currently in jail and has been thru a program and wants to turn her life around and hopefully be able to have a part in her daughter's life if she can stay clean. The grandmother says she wants to adopt the child in order to gain military healthcare benefits.

The four maternal grandparents in VA have stayed in close contact with the child and fear losing contact if the paternal grandmother gains total rights. The child's father has agreed to his mother adopting we think, because he is unemployed and is supported by his mother. The mother will be released from jail in June and can't even do anything to fight this from jail but is very concerned about losing all rights to the child.

--It is possible for a court to terminate her parental rights. I'm not sure from your question which jurisdiction, Florida or Virginia, but, even though she is in jail, either one of these courts should give her the opportunity to respond. --Staff

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