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Can I Terminate My Ex’s Parental Rights?

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Some parents in Nevada have experienced neglect and abandonment by their co-parent or spouse, leaving them with what can feel like the enormous burden of caring for their children alone. If that parent believes the other parent is a dangerous influence, or if they meet someone new, the question of terminating that parent’s parental rights may come up. However, there are very few situations in which one parent may terminate the other’s rights unilaterally.

An Extremely Serious Undertaking

Nevada law characterizes the termination of parental rights as an “exercise of awesome power,” because once done, it is all but impossible to undo. A child’s bond with their parents is considered sacred and a fundamental right, and destroying it is a step that most courts are not prepared to take without proof of abandonment or behavior that is substantially contradictory to a child’s best interests.

The threshold for terminating a parent’s rights is not simply the ‘best interests of the child’ standard. Nevada law requires the proof of more serious allegations such as: abandonment, neglect, or risk of serious physical, mental or emotional injury if returned to that parent.

Contested Hearings Are Common

If you are unable to locate your co-parent, or if they voluntarily consent to have their parental rights terminated, the proceedings to do so are not time consuming, although they are highly technical. However, if the requested termination is contested, the parent whose rights are to be terminated is entitled to a hearing on the matter, and an opportunity to present evidence to prevent the termination.

Be advised that during the initial hearing, the Court may appoint an attorney, known as a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the best interests of your child or children. If this occurs, you need to understand that the GAL does not answer to you, only to the court. Guardians ad litem are appointed to ensure that the Court is receiving an objective understanding of the children’s best interests and that they are not being used as pawns in parental conflict. A GAL will make a report to the court based upon their observations of the family dynamics. Such a report may be helpful to your case, or it may be a hinderance.

Contact An Experienced Attorney

Most parents will do anything for their children, but if you believe your ex’s parental rights ought to be terminated, it must be done in a manner which grants them the right to respond, and ensures that your children’s rights are protected. If you have further questions about these types of issues, the lawyers at the Kainen Law Group may be able to assist. Call our office today at 702-823-4900 to set up an appointment.

Resource:

leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-128.html#NRS128Sec160

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