worried mother holding childThis is the next post in my series on the termination of parental rights in Las Vegas, Nevada. My last article discussed terminating rights when the parents are not in agreement. It is important to remember that a parent may move forward even if they cannot find their counterpart and have not heard from them for some time. This can be accomplished through a process known as “service by publication.” As a practical matter, most termination cases either proceed under an agreement between the parents or with one parent not participating in the process. There are, however, some instances where a parent will dispute the termination. In this article I will discuss the process which a party faces when they are moving forward. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

The Clark County Family Court will hold a “prove up” hearing for agreed upon terminations

If the parties are in agreement on all of the issues then they may submit a Stipulation and Order to the Court which grants the termination. Quite often, this is done in conjunction with proceedings where the remaining parent’s new significant other is adopting the child. This process will begin by filing a Petition for Adoption with the Court. The Petition will include the signed agreement for the termination of rights. The attorney for the remaining parent will schedule what is called a “prove up” hearing. This is heard as part of the Court’s uncontested calendar. This is a relatively short hearing in which the Court will quickly confirm that this is what the remaining parent and the adoptive parent want. The Court may also ask brief questions of the child. It is rare for the parent, who is surrendering their rights, to attend this hearing. Once the hearing is concluded, the Court will sign an Order terminating the now former parent’s rights and granting the adoption.

If the termination is not being handled in conjunction with an adoption, then the agreement between the parents will be submitted to the Clark County Family Court. A prove up hearing will still be attended and the Court will confirm that this is what the remaining parent wants. Again, it is rare for the outgoing parent to attend such a hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court will sign an order granting the termination. While this process may seem straightforward, it is important to remember that the Court will take the matter quite seriously. Retaining an attorney with experience in such matters can help to ensure that your case is handled smoothly.

A parental termination will proceed to trial if there is no agreement between the parties

If there is no agreement between the parents then the case will proceed to trial. The case will begin with each side making an opening statement to the Judge (there are no juries in Family Court). The parent requesting the termination will then make an opening statement. The responding parent will make their opening statement. The next step is for the requesting parent to present their case. The responding parent will present their case and the requesting party will follow with rebuttal. Each side will make a closing argument and the Court will issue its decision. Judges take termination cases incredibly seriously and it is important that you have an attorney who is familiar with the rules of evidence and who will present a case in a way that is easy to follow.

I am a Las Vegas family law lawyer who handles parental termination cases. My office prides itself on providing quality service and we understand that this is a serious time in your life. We will quickly respond to emails and phone calls. We will also take steps to ensure that you know what to expect as the matter moves forward. If you are in need of assistance then contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.