How do I terminate the other parent’s rights to my child?

Sharing a child between households is difficult enough with two parents on the same page in California. Unfortunately, if your child’s other parent is not around or is unfit to parent, you may want to terminate their parental rights. The law requires you to submit a petition. 

The Superior Court of California in the County of Sacramento details the requirements to have the court terminate the other parent’s rights to your child. In addition to the form, you have to include the reason for the request. The reasons for termination must be one or more from the Family Code sections 7822 through 7827. These include mentally disabled parent, abandonment, parent convicted of a felony and cruelty or neglect. 

After two copies of the paperwork have been submitted, you can request a hearing for your termination request. An ex parte application can facilitate a termination request without the hassle of a court hearing, but most circumstances do not qualify. You can expect the court to review the documentation prior to granting a hearing. The hearing typically takes place 45 days from the court granting your hearing. 

Be sure to complete all the necessary documentation to avoid delays in the process. Improperly filled documentation can result in you receiving them back, filling them out again and restarting the process. If you feel your child is in danger, restarting the process can be detrimental to them. 

While this information should not be taken as legal advice, it can help you understand the process and what to expect. If in doubt, consult an attorney experienced in family law. 

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