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 Brown Law Offices for help during this difficult time.

Photo of Cynthia J. Brown Cynthia J. Brown

“Some lawyers play a lot of games. That’s not my approach. There is a lot of gray area in the law, but I try to keep things relatively straightforward for my clients. That way, we can all focus on what’s really important: getting…

“Some lawyers play a lot of games. That’s not my approach. There is a lot of gray area in the law, but I try to keep things relatively straightforward for my clients. That way, we can all focus on what’s really important: getting matters settled fairly and cost-effectively. We’re certainly ready to litigate, but favor empowering clients to control the outcome of their case.”

Cynthia is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. She publishes extensively on divorce and family law issues.

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 family law with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A., in 2003.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor and public defender. In the last decade, however, Cynthia’s practice has focused primarily on family law. She has handled a wide variety of matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child support, alimony, paternity, step-parent adoption, harassment and grandparent rights.

Cynthia publishes extensively on divorce and family law issues. She is a contributing author to the Family Law Forum, the quarterly publication of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. Cynthia also writes a bi-monthly family law column for the Minnesota Lawyer newspaper, and monthly articles for Divorce Magazine.

Cynthia obtained her Bachelor’s Degree, magna cum laude, from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, and her Juris Doctorate from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.

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, beading and spending time with family. She and her husband, Jason, also an attorney, have two children.