Factors That Can Remove Parental RightsPutnam Law Office
Deciding to get a divorce means you have reached a state of no return in a relationship, but it is important to know about potential consequences of going through with the separation. The most severe consequences revolve around financial decisions and child custody. Child custody means deciding on visitation rights, who will raise the child, and if money will be paid for the child support. Certain factors like past domestic abuse or other negative behaviors can lead to restrictions on these rights. If you feel uncertain, call a divorce lawyer for guidance.
What is Child Custody?
Child custody was established to grant one parent full or partial custody of a child after a divorce has been legally processed. If the couple had kids after they married, then courts generally grant them joint custody, meaning that both parents have equal rights in relation to raising their children. Exclusive custody is when one parent receives full custody of the child, which means they will be the primary caregiver who will raise the child while the other parent will visit the child on a scheduled basis. In this situation, the other parent is referred to as a non-custodial parent.
Factors that Can Terminate Parental Rights
While the non-custodial parent does have visitation rights, these parental rights may be restricted, lessened, or revoked for various reasons. These reasons include physical or sexual abuse, abandonment of the child, onset of mental illness, substance abuse with drugs or alcohol, failure to support the child or neglect. Every state has the right to terminate parental rights if the parent was charged with a criminal offense.
This law exists to protect the children because courts are expected to uphold the best interests of the child. In some cases, the non-custodial parent may be able to still visit their child, but only under supervision. However, if the accusations are severe enough, this parent may lose all rights to their child.
Exceptions to Termination of Parent Rights
There are some instances in which a parent may not lose all of their rights concerning their children. If the child was placed in the care of a third party like a relative, then the parent may retain certain rights. Other exceptions are when the state agency has argued a legitimate reason for why terminating the parent’s rights will do more harm than good to the child and if the state agency has provided a service plan for safe reunification.
Where to Find a Family Lawyer
If you suspect that your child has been abused by your spouse, then you may want to speak with a family law lawyer in Oklahoma who can help you build a case for exclusive child custody. Lawyers can also help you if you were falsely accused by your spouse for something you did not do. Contact the family law lawyers at the Putnam Law Office at (405) 726-1010 for a consultation to determine what can be done in your situation. Mr. Putnam is an Oklahoma City, OK attorney who puts clients first and will work with you to protect your rights and finances.