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Most Minnesota parents want the best for their children and do everything in their power to keep their children safe, healthy, and happy. A small subset, however, participates in neglect or abuse severe enough to warrant the termination of their rights as parents. In such situations, the termination of that parent’s rights may be warranted or even urgently required. Read on to learn more about this option and the role it plays in the lives of Minnesota families.

Voluntary Versus Involuntary Terminations of Parental Rights

Occasionally, parental rights terminations occur on a completely voluntary basis. Some parents strongly believe that it is in everybody’s best interest if they no longer hold responsibility for their children. That being said, voluntary termination of rights is not a viable means of avoiding child support payments.

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights: The Process

When it occurs on an involuntary basis, termination of parental rights begins with reports of abuse or neglect, followed by a detailed investigation. Based on ensuing findings, cases may be referred to county attorneys for Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) investigations. This essentially serves as a request for the court to rule in favor of CPS involvement.

Should the judge determine that protective services are warranted, a case plan can be drafted to grant the parent time to address areas of concern. A court hearing may follow for those who fail to follow their case plan. Depending on the evidence, this hearing could end with a complete loss of parental rights. This may extend not only to parental rights regarding current children, but also the right to care for any future children the allegedly negligent or abusive parent may have.

Whether you’re looking to voluntarily give up your rights as a parent or face an investigation that could lead to an involuntary loss of rights, you can benefit from strong legal counsel. Look to the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. for help during this difficult time.