This is the next article in my series on the termination of parental rights in Las Vegas, Nevada. My last article discussed the termination of parental rights when both parents agree on all issues. Such cases typically involve one parent agreeing to give up their rights in exchange for waiving unpaid child support. It is important to understand that the parent relinquishing their rights will have no future obligation to pay support. The Court takes such matters very seriously and, even if you and your ex agree on all issues, it is important that you retain an attorney to make sure you follow the proper procedures. In this article I will discuss the process of terminating your counterpart’s rights when they are not in agreement on the issue. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
The termination of parental rights begins with the filing of a Complaint with the Clark County Family Court
If a parent wishes to terminate their counterpart’s rights then the first step is to file a document known as a “Complaint” with the Clark County Family Court. This is a document in which one will state that they are requesting the termination, the grounds for the termination, and any other relief which they may be seeking. The Complaint will then be served on the opposing party and the responding individual will have twenty days to file an “Answer.” If an Answer is not filed in the requisite time then the filing party may file a default with the Court and proceed to what is known as a “prove up” hearing. After the prove up hearing, the Court will sign a Decree stating that the individual’s parental rights are terminated. The Decree will also include any amounts owed for unpaid child support and the remaining parent may then take action to collect that money via wage garnishment, or some other method. If the individual does respond to the Complaint then the matter will proceed to litigation.
A case to terminate parental rights will proceed as any other family law matter. The requesting parent will have the burden of proof in regard to showing that their counterpart’s right should be terminated. This is an extremely high standard. Courts are typically only willing to terminate rights in the most egregious of circumstances. Practically speaking, it is relatively uncommon for a case to proceed to trial. With that said, there are situations, such as those involving extreme abuse, sexual misconduct, etc., which will lead the granting of a termination. How the Court will rule in any given case is always going to depend on the specific facts of the situation and it is crucial that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you.
It is possible to terminate a Nevada parent’s rights even if they cannot be found
It is not uncommon for there to be situations in which a parent has not seen their child for many years and their whereabouts are unknown. In such situations, for obvious reasons, it is not possible for the requesting parent to obtain an agreement from their counterpart. In these situations, the individual may file a Complaint for termination and serve the individual via the “publication” process. Once the publication process is completed the individual would be considered “served.” After twenty days have passed, the requesting party may file a Default with the Court and proceed to a prove up hearing. At that time they will typically be able to obtain an Order which grants the termination as well as the right to collect any unpaid child support. Again, given the serious nature of such proceedings, the Court will ensure that all procedures are properly followed.
If you or a loved one are going through a parental termination then it is crucial that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you. My firm practices exclusively in the area of family law and we understand that this is a serious time in your life. We will give you your case the attention it deserves and we will be in contact with you throughout each step of the process. Contact us online or by telephone to speak with a Las Vegas parental rights termination lawyer. We look forward to speaking with you.