Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare
Losing parental rights is one of the most devastating ordeals a parent can go through. But many New Jersey parents lose their parental rights each year. State Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies seek the termination of parental rights in child abuse and neglect cases. If New Jersey’s CPS agency is threatening your parental rights, here’s what they should be telling you.
The Consequences of Losing Parental Rights
Losing your parental rights severs the legal relationship with your child. It is not the same as losing custodial rights. Losing custodial rights means you can’t live with or make decisions about your child. Losing parental rights means you are no longer your child’s parent.
You Don’t Have to Surrender Your Rights if Asked
New Jersey’s CPS agency is operated by the DCPP (formerly the DYFS). Before the DCPP terminates parental rights, it may ask the parent to relinquish them voluntarily. You do not have to agree to surrender your parental rights. But, if you refuse, the DCPP may commence Title 30 proceedings to terminate parental rights. If you do agree to surrender your rights, DCPP must inform you of your rights and offer you counseling sessions before finalizing the action.
You Have a Right to an Attorney
New Jersey parents have a right to legal counsel when losing parental rights. You should always exercise this right. Speak with a New Jersey DCPP/DYFS defense attorney with experience in parental rights matters. An attorney can help you decide if this is what’s best for your child and what you can do to stop it.
Meeting the Standard
In Title 30 proceedings for parental rights termination, the legal standard is the child’s best interests. Many parents who make efforts to address DCPP’s concerns are dismayed when they find out it wasn’t enough. DCPP and the family court will always act in the best interests of the child regardless of what the parent wants. If your goal is to keep your rights, you and your attorney must prove terminating those rights would be detrimental to your child.
Your Options After Termination
Losing your parental rights means you no longer have a legal relationship with your child. You lose any and all rights regarding your child. Thus, you do not have the right to contact your child or get information about him or her. In almost all cases, parental rights cannot be reinstated. Parents do have the right to appeal after a judgment terminating parental rights is entered but should work closely with a seasoned New Jersey parental rights attorney on the appeal.
If you need child abuse defense in New Jersey, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. The experienced child welfare attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC can help you defend your rights and help keep your family whole. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.