Parental Revocation in Georgia Family Law
Parental rights allow parents to have custody of, visit, and make decisions related to their children. But family law courts can terminate those rights when it’s in the best interests of children whose well being may be at risk.
Understanding the responsibilities you have as a parent and the reasons why parental rights may be revoked can help you get the legal protection you need in a family law court case.
How Parental Revocation Works
Parental revocation takes away your right to make decisions related to your child’s well being while also allowing another individual to legally adopt your child.
Georgia family laws can terminate parental rights for a few reasons. In cases where an individual wants to adopt the child, one or both parents may agree to have their parental rights revoked in order to allow the adoption to occur.
If a parent has been ordered to pay child support for at least one year, their parental rights may be revoked if they fail to comply with their legal obligations.
Family law courts may revoke parental rights in cases where a child has been abandoned or the parents cannot be located or identified.
Other reasons that parents lose their rights include a lack of adequate parental care, severe threats to the child’s well being, and circumstances in which one or both parents have been incarcerated for extended periods of time.
Consensual Termination of Parental Rights
Parents have the right to surrender their rights through a legal petition. This usually occurs when a parent recognizes that a child may benefit from being under someone else’s care.
You may consent to the revocation of your parental rights so that your child can be adopted by a family member or a non-relative. Keep in mind that you will no longer receive notifications related to legal proceedings related to the child once you consent to the termination of your rights.
Parents may consent to losing their parental rights. But courts may also revoke those rights in cases where revocation serves the best interests of children without the consent of the parent.
Losing parental rights doesn’t mean that parents are no longer responsible for their children. Until the child has been adopted, parents are still obligated to pay child support and provide any inheritance legally owed to the child.
The Parental Revocation Process
Terminating a parent’s rights to their child typically starts when the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) receives a report and initiates an investigation into the wellbeing of a child.
An attorney for the DFCS may request that the rights of parents be terminated. But if the court chooses to keep parental rights in place, services may be recommended to help families protect children.
Family law courts must consider the best interests of children when deciding whether or not to terminate parental rights. They look at factors that include the child’s relationship and familiarity with the parent along with their desire to remain in the parents’ custody.
The needs of children for a stable home environment, as well as their physical, mental, and emotional well being, are also considered by the courts.
Georgia family law courts must evaluate any evidence of inability or misconduct of parents. If a child is shown to be deprived of essential needs, it must be shown that the parent’s lack of care is the cause of the deprivation.
If the courts believe the lack of care will continue and likely cause further harm to the child, then parental rights may be revoked if it serves the child’s best interests.
Terminating parental rights impacts your ability to care for and take part in decisions that impact your child’s well being.
Understanding how parental revocation laws work and consulting with a skilled family law attorney can help you protect your rights as a parent.