This is the next post in my series on terminating parental rights in Las Vegas, Nevada. My last article provided an overview of topics which the series will be discussing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one are going through this process. The termination of parental rights has been referred to as “the civil death penalty” by the Nevada Supreme Court. This is not a matter to be taken lightly and it is crucial that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. In this article I will be discussing how parents may voluntarily terminate their rights in the context in which such situations typically arise. If you or a loved one are in need of legal assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Las Vegas lawyer.
Las Vegas parents may agree to the termination of one’s parental rights
Many parental termination cases are based upon an agreement by the two parents. These are typically situations in which one parent has not seen the child for a significant amount of time or otherwise wishes to no longer be part of the child’s life. The voluntary termination of rights means that the individual giving up their legal status will no longer have any right of visitation. They will also no longer have “legal custody” of the child, meaning that they will have no access to school records, no say in how the child is raised, etc. The remaining parent will also have no ability to collect child support from their counterpart; the forfeiting parent will no longer have any obligations in regard to the child. It is important to understand that any unpaid child support will still be owed to the remaining parent unless the parties agree to waive the support. In voluntary termination cases, it is common for the two sides to agree to waive any outstanding support obligations so that the matter may be resolved quickly.
The foregoing concepts are best explained by way of example. Suppose a Las Vegas mother and father have a custody order stating that the father is to pay $500 a month in child support and is to have weekend visitation with the child. The truth of the matter, however, is that the father has not seen the child in some time (possibly years) and is making no effort to have contact with the child. Also, the father has not paid his child support in multiple years. The fact that a custody order exists, however, can create problems for the mother. These problems include, among other things, the fact that she cannot move out of Nevada with the child without receiving permission from the Court. In situations such as this it is common for the mother to reach an agreement with the father to terminate his parental rights so that she may be the sole custodian of a child. In order to get the father to agree to such an arrangement, the mother will often either waive any outstanding child support or agree to accept a reduced amount. If the mother does not wish to waive the outstanding support, and the father is refusing to agree to a parental termination, then the mother may file a legal action to terminate the father’s rights. Termination cases can be highly complex and it is crucial that you retain an experienced lawyer to assist you.
Voluntary Nevada parental terminations are sometimes completed in conjunction with a stepparent adoption
It is common for a parent to remarry after they have divorced the father or mother of their child. It is also not uncommon for them to wish for their new spouse to adopt a child. It is common, in situations where the unmarried parent has not seen the child for some time, for the parties to agree that the parent will terminate their rights and that the new spouse will adopt the child. The Clark County Family Court allows for the termination of rights and for the adoption to all be handled in one action, so that the remaining parent is not required to file a termination and then file a separate adoption case. If all the parties are in agreement on all issues then this process can be completed relatively quickly. In addition to filing necessary paperwork with the Court, it will be necessary to attend a “prove up” hearing which typically only takes a matter of minutes.
If you or a family member are seeking the voluntary termination of another individual’s parental rights then it is important that you retain an attorney to assist you. The Court takes termination cases very seriously and, even if the parties agree on all issues, the Judge will ensure that all procedures are properly followed. Having legal representation helps to ensure that you complete the process as quickly as possible. I am a Las Vegas family law lawyer who deals with the termination of parental rights and adoptions. I have experience in handling such matters and I believe that everyone is entitled to quality representation. Contact my office online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. I look forward to speaking with you.