Written by: Timothy W Durkin

Mesa Family Law Attorney

While most of us would like to assume that the best person to provide care for a child is one – if not both – of that child’s parents, this simply is not always the case. Take, for example, a parent who means well, but who is challenged with debilitating mental health issues. Or, similarly, take a parent who struggles with a chronic chemical dependency. A child under the care of such a parent could very well be unsafe, and could possibly benefit from the parenting of somebody who is better equipped to act as a parent.

Of course, courts do not take termination of parental rights lightly. They do not engage in the business of terminating parental rights unless there is a genuinely serious issue regarding the safely and well being of a child. And even when the court is asked to intervene on behalf of an unprotected child, the court will generally give the offending parent every opportunity to address and correct his or her “offending” behavior before parental rights are terminated.

The termination process begins when somebody concerned with the child’s welfare files a petition to terminate. Anybody who is legitimately interested in the child’s wellbeing can petition the court to terminate parental rights, be it a relative, neighbor, private agency, or the state of Arizona.

Petitioning the court is only the first step in the process of terminating parental rights in Arizona. Courts cannot take action unless they have statutory authority to do so. Arizona Revised Statute §8-533(B) provides several grounds for which courts can terminate parental rights, including:

  • The parent abandoned the child.
  • The parent neglected or abused the child.
  • The parent has mental illness or a history of substance abuse that is likely to continue for an indeterminate period of time.
  • The parent was convicted of a felony of such a nature that would prove unfitness to parent, or the sentence will deprive the child from a normal home for a period of years.
  • The presumed father failed to file a timely claim of paternity.
  • The parents relinquished their rights to another individual or an adoption agency.
  • The child is being cared for in an out-of-home placement for a period of time, and the parents have not remedied the situation that caused such placement.
  • The identity of the parent is unknown, and remains unknown after three months of diligent searching.
  • The parent had parental rights to another child terminated within the preceding two years, and is presently unable to discharge parental responsibilities for the same cause.
  • The child is repeatedly removed from the home to out-of-home placement.

Ultimately, courts want to make sure that a child’s safety is not in jeopardy. When the court finds that a child’s parent or parents are failing to provide a safe environment for the child, the court will take action to protect the child. Those who petition the court to terminate parental rights must properly organize the facts to meet Arizona’s statutory requirements; this is best accomplished with the help of an Arizona family law attorney.

Please Make Note

Please make note that I, Jessica Lynn Hepner the creator of What Every Parent Should Know, is not giving legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I am giving you knowledge via first hand experiences.

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Save A Life by Angie Kassabie

Save A Life by Angie Kassabie
I URGE ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ & SHARE THIS; YOU COULD SAVE A LOVED ONES LIFE BY KNOWING THIS SIMPLE INFORMATION!!! Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue: During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this. A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. >>RECOGNIZING A STROKE<< Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. Chicken Soup) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

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