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Terminating Parental Rights

In a perfect world, every child would have perfect parents. But we live in an imperfect world, and some parents are very far from perfect. In fact, some parents are harmful to their children and should have no contact with them, for the sake of the child.

If you are a parent to a child that is abused or neglected by another parent or someone else with custody of the child, it is your duty to protect that child from these people. In some cases, that may mean stepping in to end the other person's parental rights, whether this involves an ex-husband, ex-wife, granddaughter, grandson, or other guardian.

Parental Right Termination Lawyer in Chester County

If you are seeking to terminate someone's parental rights in a child custody matter, or if someone is seeking to terminate your parental rights, our experienced family attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices can fight for you. We use a team approach, using all of our experience to help our clients on one of the most sensitive and important matters a parent can face: who has rights over his or her child.

Call us today at (877) 529-2422 or send an online message, and we'll set up a free consultation. You can meet on-one-one with a dedicated Pennsylvania child custody lawyer at one of our many convenient meeting sites in West Chester, Philadelphia, Radnor, Lancaster, Plymouth Meeting, Kennett Square, Malvern, Springfield, or King of Prussia.

We represent clients in Chester County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Lancaster County and throughout the Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania area.


Pennsylvania Parental Right Termination Info Center


How are Parental Rights are Terminated?

Pennsylvania Statutes Title 23, § 2511 lists reasons that a person's parental rights may be terminated. Some are for actions by a parent, such as:

  • Abandoning or otherwise refusing to perform parental duties for six consecutive months.
  • Continued abuse, neglect or incapacity causes a child to be without essential parental car or control, or the child does not have the subsistence for his or her physical mental well-being.
  • Being convicted of criminal homicide or aggravated assault.

Some issues in the law relate to fatherhood, such as if the parent is not the natural father, if the child was conceived of rape or incest, or if the father is not married to the month and fails to attempt to make any contact with the child or fulfill any parental duties for four months after the child's birth. If the child has been removed from a parent's care by court order for certain conditions, and those conditions are unlikely to be remedied after six months, the court may terminate the parental rights.

Like most decisions involving the relationship between adults and children in family court, the judge is to ultimately make a decision based on the "best interests of the child." The court may not terminate parental rights because a parent has insufficient means to provide for the housing, furnishings, income, clothing or medical needs of a child, as long as the insufficiency is found to be beyond the control of the parent.


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Filing a Termination Petition in West Chester PA

If you are a custodial parent, and another parent or person has some form of custody over your child, and you have reason to believe your child is in a dangerous situation, being emotionally abused, or the other parent has abandoned his or her duties, it may be in the best interests of your child to seek to terminate that parent's rights.

Your child custody lawyer can file a Petition to Terminate Parental Rights in the appropriate Pennsylvania court, whether it is in Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Lancaster County, Philadelphia County, or elsewhere in the state. The court will then schedule a hearing. If the other parent does not respond or appear, the court may enter a Petition to Confirm Consent or a Petition to Terminate Rights, and immediately hold an adoption hearing. If the parent contests the termination, the court will investigate the relevant factors and make a determination.

If the parent's rights are terminated, that person will no longer have standing to bring any legal matter as a parent. The person will have no right to any custody or visitation, and may not make any decisions on behalf of the child. The person will never be able to petition for custody, even if the person has disappeared and resurfaces years later.


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Finding an Attorney to Terminate Parental Rights Over a Child in Pennsylvania

Whether you're a parent facing termination of your rights or a parent who needs to cut off someone else's, our team of experienced family attorneys can help you. We work to defend the rights of parents throughout West Chester, Downingtown, Coatesville, Lancaster, Lititz, Ephrata, Norristown, Villanova, King of Prussia, Media, Philadelphia, and surrounding areas. Call us today at Ciccarelli Law Offices or send an online message for a free consultation.