Cancellation of parental rights can be ordered by the court in cases involving inattention or abuse, or if the father has abandoned the minor or refuses to see him. In these cases, it is important to understand the process to cancel parental authority so that the judicial processes are carried out legally and taking into account the well-being of the minor. Learn how the parental authority of a child is lost so that you can successfully solve this difficult legal problem.
Method 1 of 2: Involuntary Cancellation
Step 1. Find out what the laws are on involuntary cancellation
Only some serious reasons are valid for taking away someone's parental authority without their permission. In general, you must show that the minor's contact with his father hurts him. The exact requirements vary by area, so review the following information:
- If you are in the United States, check this list at childwelfare.gov for the exact requirements for your state. The advice given focuses on the process carried out in the USA.
- If you are in the European Union, find your country's legislation on the justice.europa.eu page.
- If you live in another country, look up the information on the Internet. In most regions, physical or sexual abuse, inattention, mental illness, or drug use are valid reasons for termination of parental authority.
Step 2. Consider hiring an attorney
Hiring an attorney is never required, but it can increase your chances of success and speed up the process. If you don't have the money to hire one, ask the court if they offer free or lower-cost legal services. This is recommended whenever possible, but especially for the following cases:
- Cancellation is involuntary (parent disagrees).
- Someone involved in the case suffers from a mental illness.
- Someone involved in the case is an American Indian. Federal laws may apply.
Step 3. Contact a local court
Find a local courthouse online or check with your local government center. If you live in the US, use the website uscourts.gov and find a nearby district court in your state. After finding a courthouse, make a phone call and ask the following questions:
- Ask if it is the correct court to request the cancellation of parental authority of a child. If not, ask for the correct court number.
- Ask what specific documents the local court uses. Not all courts will have a document available.
- Ask how many copies of the document you will need to submit (also keep one for yourself).
Step 4. Submit your documents
Fill out the documents that the court gave you and present them. If the court does not have documents, you will have to create your own. The court will only accept them if you follow strict guidelines when making them. Try to get the advice of a lawyer, a court clerk, or a law librarian. In the US, you will generally need two documents:
- You will need an application in which you will explain the situation and cite the laws that allow you to request the cancellation of parental authority. Use your state's law code number, use it here. Some courts may use two forms: a statement of the legal basis and the application itself.
- You will also need a summons, which is served on the defendant to start the process.
- In addition to the content of the documents, it is likely that the court also has requirements for their format. Ask the court for guidance on handwriting, typeface, and page layout.
Step 5. Give a copy of the documents to the parent involved
After filling out the documents in court, the court clerk will give you a copy for you and one for the person from whom you want to take parental authority over a child. In most cases, you can not deliver these documents on your own. Have an American citizen over the age of 18 who is not involved in the case hand them over. That person will likely have to fill out a service of service accreditation form and present it to the court immediately.
- Some states have special requirements. To be sure, look them up on the Internet or check with the court before trying to serve the documents.
- Submit these documents immediately. If you do not serve the documents early enough before the hearing, the judge may cancel the hearing.
Step 6. Gather your documentation and evidence
To support your case, you will need to have evidence or documentation of the incidents or problems related to your attempt to terminate parental authority for the father. Organize your evidence and make sure that all the documents meet all the legal requirements so that they can be part of the case. The court may appoint an investigator who can provide you with more specific recommendations.
If you plan to call witnesses, you will have to fill out more documents ahead of time. Check with the court which forms are used in your area
Step 7. Attend all scheduled hearings
After you have submitted your request for cancellation of parental authority, it will be reviewed and then a court hearing or series of hearings will be scheduled. Attend all scheduled hearings. Bring all the documents you prepared.
The judge will decide if the minor should attend the hearings
Step 8. Behave appropriately.
When you ask a court to cancel parental rights for the other parent, it is important that you behave as a responsible and respectable adult. This will be an emotional problem, but it is important that the judge see you as a sensible and mature person. Dress professionally, be on time, stay calm, and show respect in the courtroom.
Call the judge as "your honor." Never interrupt the judge
Step 9. Get the order of cancellation of parental authority
After the court approves your request for cancellation of parental authority, documents will be issued that will cancel the parental authority of the minor. Obtain these documents to keep in your record to ensure that you protect the rights of the minor and ensure that the court's decision is respected in future disputes.
In some states, you may have to fill out a form yourself or have to write your own document for the judge to sign
Method 2 of 2: Voluntary Cancellation
Step 1. Review the laws on voluntary cancellation of parental authority
The process may be easier if you are a parent who agrees to cancellation. You still need the approval of the court. Most courts will likely not accept cancellation, unless someone else is ready to adopt the child (and not just the other parent). Teen mothers overwhelmed with responsibility can also go this route.
- A parent who does not have the resources to support a minor can deliver the baby to a safe haven.
- A parent cannot cancel parental rights to avoid paying child support.
Step 2. Sign the consent form
If you have a valid reason to cancel parental authority and you believe that the minor will benefit from it, contact the local court. The first step is to obtain and sign a consent form.
The court may call the form voluntary cancellation of parental authority, voluntary resignation of parental authority, consent to cancellation of parental authority, affidavit of exemption from parental authority or something similar
Step 3. Attend the court hearing
The court clerk should tell you when to appear in court. The court may also request the presence of the minor or his guardian. After questioning you about your situation, the judge will make a decision.
- Even if you have legal grounds to request cancellation of parental authority, the judge may not grant it. The judge rules based on what is best for the minor.
- If your parental authority is canceled, the judge will tell you how this will affect the payments or other expenses you make to support the child.