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Can terminated parental rights and child custody be reinstated?

Having parental rights terminated in a California family court would naturally be a devastating experience for most parents. However, this is only done in severe cases of child abuse or neglect and is always done in the best interests of the children. After termination of parental rights, a parent will no longer have child custody; in fact, there will be no legal parent-child relationship.

In some cases, when a child has been in foster care for some years, and there is no possibility of him or her being adopted, the court may consider reinstatement of parental rights. Such a request sometimes comes from the side of a child who has aged out of foster care and wishes to rebuild family ties. However, evidence to support a claim for reinstatement of parental rights in a family court will have to be substantial and persuasive.

According to the family laws in California, parents will be eligible to petition the court for restoration of their parental rights if three years have passed since the termination date. An exception exists if it is determined sooner that it is unlikely for the child to be adopted. If the child is not yet 12 years old, the court must ascertain that reinstatement of parental rights can be based on factual sources. Ultimately, the best interests of the child will prevail.

Parents who have changed their ways and become responsible enough to provide loving care for their children -- after previously having their parental rights terminated by a California family court -- may want to consult with an experienced child custody attorney. Once he or she has assessed the circumstances and available evidence to substantiate a petition for reinstatement, parents will be advised of the availability of remedies for the situation. Family law could prove to be complex, and legal guidance may be invaluable in pursuing the best possible outcome.

Source: FindLaw, "Reinstatement of Parental Rights After Termination", Dec. 27, 2014

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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