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Termination of Parental Rights

Attorney Providing Guidance to Clients in West Palm Beach

With few exceptions, every biological parent is afforded inherent legal rights with respect to their child. A termination of parental rights eliminates those responsibilities and ends the legal relationship between the parent and child. If you face the possible termination of your parental rights, a West Palm Beach child custody lawyer can be crucial in protecting your interests. At the Law Office of Jessica Mishali, P.A., we understand that issues involving parental rights can be emotionally charged. We can provide trustworthy advice to people who seek or contest the termination of parental rights.

Termination of Parental Rights in Florida

In Florida, a person may decide to terminate their parental rights through a voluntary surrender, typically in the context of adoption. However, when there are grounds to terminate parental rights involuntarily, the decision may be made by the courts. Below are some grounds for the termination of parental rights in Florida.

Abandonment or Abuse

Abandonment, child abuse, threats to the child’s safety, and egregious conduct are separate grounds for the termination of parental rights. Abandonment occurs when a parent has made no significant contribution to the child’s care and maintenance, and/or has failed to establish a substantial and positive relationship with the child. Abandonment may also occur when the identity or location of the parent is unknown and cannot be determined after a diligent search.

If the parent has subjected their child or another child to aggravated child abuse, sexual abuse, sexual battery, or chronic abuse, their parental rights may be terminated. Furthermore, conduct of the parent that demonstrates that their continued involvement would threaten the life, safety, well-being, or physical, mental, or emotional health of the child is also a ground for termination. If the conduct is egregious, only one instance may be sufficient. In addition, parental rights may be terminated if the parent had the opportunity to prevent and knowingly failed to prevent such egregious conduct. In dependency cases, the court may terminate parental rights where the child continues to be abused, neglected, or abandoned.

Incarceration or Violent Crimes

In Florida, a parent’s rights may be terminated if the parent will be incarcerated for a significant portion of the child’s youth, or if the continued relationship with the incarcerated parent would be harmful to the child. The court may also terminate the parental rights of a person who is determined to be a violent career criminal, habitual violent felony offender, or sexual predator.

A conviction for certain violent crimes may be grounds to terminate parental rights. These offenses include first or second degree murder, first degree felony sexual battery, a felony battery that resulted in serious injury to a child, and aiding, abetting, conspiracy, or solicitation to murder the other parent or another child.

Alcohol or Drug Abuse

A parent with a history of extensive, abusive, and chronic use of alcohol or drugs may face termination of their parental rights if their addiction renders them incapable of caring for the child, and they have refused or failed to complete treatment. Grounds to terminate a mother’s parental rights may be established if her baby tests positive for drugs or alcohol at birth, and she had another child who was adjudicated dependent due to drug or alcohol exposure.

Contact a Lawyer in West Palm Beach About Your Rights

Termination of parental rights is a serious and generally irrevocable action. An attorney can address any concerns you may have while navigating you through the legal process. Lawyer Jessica Mishali can assist with divorce and family law issues in Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin Counties, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Pembroke Pines, Davie, Coral Springs, Hobe Sound, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, Plantation, Jensen Beach, Pompano Beach, Palm City, Stuart, Indiantown, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Hollywood, and Hallandale Beach. Schedule a consultation today by calling the Law Offices of Jessica Mishali, P.A. at (561) 833-2772 or contacting us online.

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Mishali is a great lawyer I counted on her with my liberty at stake so she fought for me & pulled through. She will contact you before court dates to make sure you appear, Always be on time, And has a terrific personality. I would highly recommend this lawyer, If I was able to rate her 10 stars I...


Jessica is so great at what she does. She is very dedicated and efficient. I don't know what I would've done with her. I highly recommend her for any service needed.


I hired Jessica Mishali to represent me. She did a phenomenal job for me. She is very talented and creative and goes above and beyond for me and I'm very confident she will do for all her future clients. She delivers results!!


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