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When Can a Court Terminate a Parent’s Rights?

The state of Nevada places high regard on the relationship between a parent and child. In determinations about child custody and parental rights, family courts are therefore tasked with making decisions in a child’s best interest. Underlying these decisions is a presumption that children should have strong and healthy bonds with their parents; however, this presumption is not absolute.

There are circumstances in which courts are permitted to terminate a parent-child relationship. The termination of parental rights occurs only as a matter of last resort, as it permanently servers any rights a parent has to care, custody, access, information, and decision-making ability when it comes to that child.

Grounds for Termination

As you can imagine—the reasons to terminate a parent’s rights revolve around the principle that that parent has engaged in acts or omissions that indicate the parent is unsuitable to play a continued role in the child’s life. Specifically, Chapter 128 of the Nevada Revised Statutes allows a parent, family member, or government agency (Child Protective Services) to seek the termination of parental rights upon showing that a parent has committed one of the following:

  • Abandoned the child
  • Neglected the child
  • Made “token” efforts to (1) support the child, (2) communicate with the child, (3) prevent neglect of the child, (4) avoid being an unfit parent, (5) eliminate the risk of harm to the child
  • Demonstrated unfitness as a parent
  • Failed in “parental adjustment” efforts to obtain the return of their children
  • Poses a risk of serious physical, mental, or emotional injury to the child
  • Sexually assaulted the child’s other parent, resulting in the child’s conception

In addition to proving one of these termination grounds, the law affords parents one additional layer of protection by requiring a finding that the termination of parental rights is in the child’s best interest. The person or government agency trying to terminate a parent’s right must prove these two elements by “clear and convincing evidence”, which is the highest burden of proof available in a civil case.

Contact Family Law Attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

If you are considering seeking the termination of another parent’s rights, or if you are facing a parent who wants to terminate your rights to your children, you need to speak with an attorney immediately. The attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. have over one hundred years of combined legal experience and take the parent-child relationship very seriously. We know the law, have a proven track record and are driven to advocate for our client’s legal interests. If you need a family law attorney, contact us today. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at ((775) 227-2280 to schedule a consultation or contact our office through our website.

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