Welcome back, and thanks for joining us again for this difficult discussion topic. Nothing is scarier for a parent than the thought of losing their child. And yet it happens. Often. But because the law is confusing, we’re trying to answer some of the more common questions we get from parents in this two-part series.
If you’re just finding this now, we recommend you take a moment to read the previous article and get caught up. As we mentioned before, it’s a terrifying process, but you’re not helpless– you can appeal the court’s decision. As long as you do it in a timely manner. So, let’s pick up where we left off…
Will I get a chance to explain my side of the story?
Yes you will. However, we want to remind you that there’s a time and place for everything. DO NOT try to explain your side of the story to the police or CPS workers who took your kids! They’re the people who are trying to have your parental rights terminated, remember? Anything you say to them can (and probably will) be twisted and then used against you in court.
So when will you get a chance to set the record straight? The moment you hire an experienced CPS defense attorney! Your attorney will listen to everything you have to say, gather evidence to support your side of the story, and will argue your side of the story on your behalf. The sooner you hire a skilled CPS defense attorney, the better your chances are of keeping your kids.
Are there other options besides terminating my parental rights?
In many cases there are. CPS (Children’s Protective Services) refers to these other options as “services”, and they include a wide variety of alternative solutions. For example, CPS services can include (but aren’t limited to):
- Parenting classes,
- Anger management classes,
- Sobriety support classes,
- Alcohol testing and a host of other options.
Talk to your exprerienced CPS defense attorney about what alternatives you can pursue, and what’s available to you at this time.
Is it possible to give up my children without a court case?
Yes and no, if depends on the situation. Let’s say for example, that your ex offers you the chance to give up your parental rights so that their new spouse can legally adopt the children, you ARE legally allowed to make that choice. This is called a voluntary termination of parental rights, and it happens when you sign a release through the court. (This usually happens at the same time as a stepparent adopts the child.)
However, without an accompanying stepparent adoption, most judges will not approve a request to ”sign off” on a child. But relinquishing your parental rights is a very big decision and should not be made without a full and complete understanding of what the consequences will be. NEVER try to make this kind of choice without the counsel of a family law attorney! Also, as attorney Brandy Thompson reminds us, “Voluntarily relinquishing your parental rights might not absolve you from your responsibility to support your child. The court may still order child support for a child with whom you have terminated your parental rights!”
If you need help with a Michigan termination of parental rights…
We hope this was helpful in answering some of your questions. Though we need to point out that if you’re involved in a termination of parental rights (TPR) case, you should not be using internet information to guide your choices! You need to meet with an experienced CPS defense attorney as soon as possible, who can properly explain the process, and how it affects your unique case. Call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 for help!