Kentucky family courts typically award joint custody to parents who divorce. It may not mean that the children spend equal time in each household, but it does mean that each parent has an equal say in how the child is raised and is also responsible for the care and support of the child. Unfortunately, not all coparents can (or choose to) meet those obligations. Instead, they are unreliable, unsafe, or untrustworthy caregivers.
Circumstances like these can prompt coparents to explore terminating the other parent’s rights, which ends the parent’s legal, financial, and social responsibility. Courts view the termination as drastic, but it may be possible if the parent can prove it is in the child’s best interests to eliminate the other parent’s rights permanently.
Common reasons for involuntary termination
Here are some examples of situations where one could argue for termination of the parent’s rights:
- Leaving the child with an unreliable caregiver or alone
- Failure to spend time with the child over a long period without a valid reason
- Leaving the child with someone else without providing adequate financial support to care for the child’s needs
- Acting unsafely, neglectfully or violently toward or around the child
- Exposing the child to inappropriate situations
- Not paying support for an extended time
Judges will consider other reasons or circumstances as well. The coparent may also voluntarily terminate their rights as a parent if it is a case of mistaken paternity.
Start the process today
Terminating a coparent’s rights typically takes months, but a judge can issue a restraining order or an emergency temporary restraining order. Those considering this important decision should discuss the matter with an experienced family law attorney who practices family law here in Kentucky. These legal professionals can provide legal insight and guidance on this matter.