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Can an Abandoned Father’s Rights Be Terminated?

Parental rights are something that the state of Nevada takes seriously. Removing parental rights is not something that is done lightly. Terminating a father’s parental rights is possible under certain circumstances. Factors that can result in a father’s rights being terminated include abandoning the child for an extended period of time, neglect of the child, failing to claim the child, and being an unfit parent.

Abandoning a child

According to Nevada law, abandonment of a child involves ‘leaving the child in the care and custody of another without provision for the child’s support and without communication for a period of six months.’ Abandonment of a child is grounds for terminating a father’s rights in some situations. The courts will consider the length of time the father has met these criteria. They will also take a look at any other factors that could impact his rights as a parent.

Neglect of the child

Neglect of the child is another possible reason why a father’s rights can be terminated. If the father repeatedly or continuously fails to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, or other care and control necessary for the child’s physical, mental and emotional health and development – despite being physically and financially capable, his rights may be terminated.

Failing to claim child

There are times when a father is not immediately identified. Before terminating a father’s rights, there must be a period of ‘diligent searching’ to let the father know about the child. In situations where the father is found and informed about the child, he is given a short amount of time to come forward and claim the child to maintain rights. After a period of time, Nevada law allows the courts to presume that the father intended to abandon the child.

Being an unfit parent

The phrase ‘unfit parent’ encompasses a long list of descriptions. If a father is found to be an unfit parent, his parental rights can be terminated. Factors that can lead to determining that someone is an unfit parent include being abusive toward the child, partaking of illegal substances or drinking excessively in the presence of the child, and mental or emotional illnesses that make the parent unable to care for the child.

The well-being and interests of the child are the primary concerns when it comes to determining if a father’s rights should be terminated. The first course of action will always be to try and create a parenting plan and visitation arrangement that includes both parents. Unfortunately, there are situations where it is not in the best interest of the child to spend time alone with the father or to be around the father at all. In a situation where the father is unfit, the custody arrangement must be designed to protect the well-being of the child. In some cases, this means terminating the parental rights of the father and awarding sole custody to the mother or another family member, or even supervised visitation. In this type of situation, it is essential to hire an experienced child custody attorney to help you through the process. You need to have a comprehensive plan and legal arrangement for custody to ensure that the best interest of your child is put first.

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