utah-parental-rights-explained

How can Parental Rights be removed in Utah?

What does it mean when someone has their parental rights removed from their children?  As the name may imply, that parent will no longer have the ability to do or perform any of the actions a parent will perform for their children.  Most notably this means the parent will not have the rights to see their children anymore.  Parents who have had their rights removed will also relinquish any voice or “say” when it comes to the care of the children.  This includes decision making power when it comes to the medical care, schooling, lifestyle or religious teachings of the child.

Voluntary removal of parental rights

In general, there are two ways parental rights can be removed in Utah.  Starting with voluntary removal, (also known as relinquishment) parents will remove their rights by their own free will.  This is generally something that cannot be undone once proper documentation has taken place.  Another general rule is that relinquishment can also be difficult to achieve.  Largely due to the fact that every child has the legal right to a parental relationship.  Therefore certain procedures must take place in order to ensure the parent understands the finality of their decision.  For example, the parent wishing to waive their rights must undergo counseling to assure they are mentally sound.  At the end of the day, this legal avenue should only be pursued if both parents feel this removal is in the best interest of the child or children.

Involuntary removal of parental rights.

When this happens the parent is no longer legally considered to be the parent of the child.  As with voluntary removal, the court will make its decision based on the best interest of the child.

When this happens there is usually clear and concise evidence of the following:

  1. The child has been abandoned or deserted by the parent or parents.
  2. There are signs of neglect or abuse.
  3. The parent has been deemed unfit due to mental illness, physical illness, or other ailments that renders them unfit or unable to perform the necessary duties of a parent.
  4. If the parent is going to be imprisoned for an extended period of time.

Seeking legal advice

Regardless of your situation, when parental rights are involved the consequences can be severe and life-altering.  If you are considering relinquishing your rights, or if you are looking to have the rights removed from another, speak to a family law attorney as soon as possible.

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