Termination of Parental Rights
Brick Family Lawyer Guiding Clients Facing Termination of Their Parental Rights
Serving Parents across Point Pleasant, Toms River, Spring Lake, Wall, and Ocean and Monmouth Counties
A biological parent’s rights with regard to their child can be terminated by the Superior Court of New Jersey. In some circumstances, the termination happens by consent or choice of the biological parent. In other cases, the termination is done by the court without the consent of the parent. Regardless of whether a parent consents to the termination or it is done against their will, the termination forever severs the parental rights to the child.
What does the termination of parental rights mean?
Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) is a legal proceeding in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Division, in which the court severs both “legal and biological ties of the parent” to his or her adoptive or biological child. TPR is final and is often the last resort in cases involving parents who did not comply with the Division of Child Placement and Permanency (DCP&P) in ensuring the safe return of the children to the home. In other cases, the termination of one parent’s rights is done so that the child can be legally adopted by another person.
Complaint for Termination of Parental Rights in Ocean County NJ
Some children are alleged to have been abused or neglected by their parents. In these cases, the Division of Child Placement and Permanency (DCP&P) is notified of the alleged abuse by a friend, family member, teacher, or anonymous call alerting them about the abuse or neglect of the child. DCP&P conducts an investigation into the alleged abuse and either find the allegation substantiated or unfounded. If the allegations are substantiated (confirmed), legal action is taken in the County Superior Court in which the child lives. The legal action can include immediate removal of the children and services for the family, including parenting classes for the parents. The reunification of the family is the goal in most cases. However, there are situations in which the child cannot be safely returned to the home.
When a child’s welfare, health, and safety cannot be maintained in the biological parent’s home, DCP&P will seek termination of parental rights through a filing of a complaint for termination. A complaint for termination is filed under N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15 with the purpose of severing the parental rights to the child and to thereby making the child available for adoption. The complaint identifies the child, the parents whose rights are to be terminated, as well as the history of the case and allegations. The purpose of the complaint is to obtain termination of parental rights.
Uncontested Termination of Parental Rights in Monmouth County Court
Not all cases involving TPR are adversarial or done against a parent’s will. Adoptions are common examples in which biological parents freely and voluntarily give up the legal right to the child. Severing the legal right to the child allows another person or couple to adopt the child. This is also done by complaint or legal proceeding in which the biological parent acknowledges that they no longer wish to be the parent or legal guardian over the child. In an effort to secure the legal termination, lawyers carefully review the complaints, documents, and representations made to the court.
Contact a Brick and Sea Girt NJ Parental Rights Lawyer Today
If you or someone you know is involved with DCP&P, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable attorney at the onset of the case. The initial allegations that permit the removal of the child from the home can be contested. Waiving the right to contest the allegations makes it more difficult to fight the case in the long-run.
Even in uncontested cases of termination of parental rights, it is important to have legal representation, as you must be informed about the totality of the rights you are giving up and how this will affect your ability to interact with your child moving forward.
If you have become involved in a termination of parental rights case, do not go through this life-changing process without legal guidance. Contact our firm today in a free and confidential consultation; please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.