Parental Rights Attorney in Lawrenceville

There is no doubt that getting a divorce becomes far more difficult and emotionally involved when you have children together. It can become difficult to find balance when you might have to share custody of your child or even accept less custody or visitation than you were hoping for. Some divorced parents who were used to seeing their children every day end only getting to see them once a week or on alternating weekends. In other instances, a parent might feel he or she is not being given enough say over major decisions in the child’s life.

When you are dealing with divorce, it is important to learn and understand your parental rights so you can be at the greatest advantage when creating your parenting plan, or a clearly outlined plan for each parent’s role in the child’s life after the divorce. A Lawrenceville divorce attorney from the Fox Firm, P.C. can help explain your inherent parental rights to you in more detail. The state of Georgia has laws in place that protect these rights.

What are your parental rights?

Parental rights refer to your legal freedoms and obligations as a parent. These include your right to legal and physical custody of your child, your right to have access to and visitation of your child (such for a non-custodial parent after a divorce), your obligation to financially support your child, your obligation to feed and clothe your child and provide him or her with shelter, your obligation to make sure your child attends school, and your obligation to provide a safe and nurturing living environment for your child. The failure to protect your son or daughter, to get him or her medical help when needed or to meet any of your other parental responsibilities can result in child abuse or neglect.

While parents have these rights and responsibilities, a judge can decide, in the event of a divorce or legal separation, how they will be split between the two parents. When a grandparent tries to claim his or her rights for visitation of a grandchild in the event of a divorce or separation, the judge will weigh the potential effect on parental rights before making a decision. When one parent dies, the other parent of child has the right to sole natural guardianship. This is true even in cases of divorce where the deceased parent had sole custody of the child.

Terminating Parental Rights

Under certain circumstances, parental rights can be terminated. This can happen either voluntarily or involuntarily. Voluntary termination of parental rights can occur when the parent doesn't wish to be involved in the child's life, or if the child is going to be legally adopted. If a parent is found to have abused or neglected his or her child, that parent could involuntarily lose parental rights. In these cases, the state could forcibly take over custody of the child, unless the parent voluntarily gives up custody so that the child could live in a safer environment. Even in cases in which a parent decides to terminate his or her parental rights, that individual could still be held responsible for paying child support until the child reaches the age of 18.

Protecting Your Rights With the Help of a Lawyer

If you are interested in learning more about your parental rights or about the termination of such rights, contact our firm, which serves clients in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County and surrounding areas. We have a full knowledge about state laws that pertain to the rights and obligations of parents in various types of circumstances. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call us today!