Whether you’ve voluntarily ended your rights as a parent or suffered involuntary termination of parental rights, your life is about to change. Not only will your relationship with your child evolve considerably (or cease to exist), your financial situation may also look considerably different now that you’re freed of your previous rights and obligations. Read on to learn about the surprising relationship between the termination of parental rights and state assistance in Minnesota:

How Termination of Parental Rights Works in Minnesota

Before you understand how terminating your rights as a parent will impact your eligibility for state assistance, it is important that you understand what else is at stake.

Termination can occur voluntarily or involuntarily. Typically, involuntary termination occurs when the court has deemed you negligent as a parent. Either approach to termination will only occur if the court believes it is in the best interests of your child.

How Termination of Parental Rights Impacts State Assistance

First, it’s important to understand: termination of parental rights does not serve as a legitimate means of avoiding child support payments to a former partner. Courts generally regard maintaining relationships with both parents as in children’s best interests, so you aren’t likely to obtain terminated rights unless clear evidence of your incompetence as a parent exists. In some cases, however, termination of an absentee parent can improve the potential for obtaining assistance, particularly if the absentee parent neglects to provide mandated support. In other cases, termination may occur so that a stepparent can adopt the child.

Terminating your rights may impact your eligibility for various assistance programs. Often, assistance is calculated based on the number of individuals or dependents in your household. If your rights are terminated, however, your child will no longer be deemed part of your household.

As you proceed with your termination of parental rights case, don’t hesitate to seek counsel from an attorney you trust. The Brown Law Offices can help; reach out today to learn how.

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Photo of Cynthia Brown Cynthia Brown

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia Brown was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia…

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia Brown was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia served as the law clerk to the Honorable Timothy R. Bloomquist, retired Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Upon completing her clerkship, Cynthia practiced with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003.

Cynthia has handled a wide variety of family law matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child protective services, orders for protection and harassment restraining orders. Many of her clients have also asked her to provide guidance concerning their estate planning needs.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor, public defender and criminal investigator. In addition to her family practice, Cynthia routinely represents clients facing criminal charges such as DWI, assault, theft and criminal sexual misconduct.

Cynthia founded the Amigos de Guatemala Foundation in 2007. She is a former Board Member and President of the Foundation, which provided educational, health and financial resources to underprivileged Guatemalan citizens. Her interest in serving the impoverished began with a medical mission trip to Honduras in 1994.

When she is not practicing law, Cynthia enjoys scrap-booking, soap-making, ATV riding and spending time with family.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Child Protective Services
  • Restraining Orders
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Bar Admission
  • Minnesota State Bar, 1998
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 1998
  • University of South Dakota, 1995
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Panel Attorney, Anoka County County Family Law Clinic
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper
  • Author, Family Law Forum
  • Author, Divorce Magazine