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Child Coparenting

Loss of Rights When It Comes to Parental Absence: What You Need to Know

Parents have certain rights regarding their children, but it takes care and dedication to maintain these rights. When a parent is absent or abandons their child, this could be the basis for termination of parental rights.

Here is what you need to know about loss of rights and parental absence in Michigan.

What Does Parental Absence Mean?

Parental absence refers to the temporary or extended absence of a child’s parent. Absent parents commonly fail to respect their parental rights and may take actions that make it seem as though they are abandoning their child, even if this isn’t their intention.

A parent may go absent for many reasons, including health issues or other difficult life circumstances. Still, under Michigan law, a parent cannot ignore their legal duties as a parent and disappear without communication or planning.

Parental absence can have a substantial impact on a child’s life, mental and emotional health, and future. Not only does the child suffer, but the full responsibility of raising and supporting the child may then be placed on the other parent.

Losing Parental Rights for Absence

Parents have certain rights concerning their children, including physical and legal rights. The court can terminate a parent’s rights for several reasons, including abandonment. While absence is not necessarily abandonment, there is a fine line legally. When a parent is absent for long periods of time, it can be viewed as abandonment.

It’s helpful to note that absent parents still have rights to their children. The only way to limit or take away an absent parent’s rights is to go through the court.

Terminating an absent parent’s rights is a process. The present parent must file a petition with the court requesting the termination of the absent parent’s parental rights. The petition must include the basis for pursuing the termination.

During the court hearing, the judge will hear from both sides and review any evidence, documentation, and testimony. Several factors play a role in the judge’s decision, including the length of the parent’s absence and the reason for their absence. To make their decision, the judge will consider what is in the best interests of the child.

Stripping a parent of their rights is a major decision; therefore, judges only grant the present parent’s request if they feel it is just and appropriate. If the judge feels the absent parent’s actions warrant losing their parental rights, they can make that determination after the hearing.

Can You Get Parental Rights Back After Losing Them?

Although challenging, it may be possible for a parent to have their parental rights reinstated under certain circumstances. The parent wishing to get their rights back must petition the court and provide sufficient proof of change and their willingness and ability to care and provide for their child.

It is then up to the court to determine whether reinstating rights would be best for the child.

A Child Custody Lawyer Can Handle Your Parental Rights Case

When you need help with your parental rights case, seeking assistance from a qualified child custody attorney is essential. At The Gucciardo Law Firm, PLLC, we have extensive experience handling parental rights matters in Michigan and strive to do what is best for you and your children. Contact us to schedule your consultation today.

Too much information?

We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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