Many of those choosing to seek a divorce in San Antonio may believe that doing so signals the end of their association with their spouses. Yet that is rarely the case (especially when a couple has children together). When kids are involved, a divorced couple must continue to work together for each to maintain a constant presence in their children’s lives. Yet what happens when one parent fails in fulfilling that obligation (or worse yet, engages in behavior that could be harmful to their kids)? Does the other have any legal recourse to end that parent’s legal parental rights? 

Per the Texas Family Code, the answer to that question is yes. Reasons recognized by the law for terminating one’s parental rights include: 

  • Knowingly placing children in environments or scenarios that could endanger them 
  • Engaging in conduct that puts children in danger (or allowing one who engages in such conduct into the children’s lives 
  • Failing to financially support children (when one is able to do so) for a period of over one year 
  • Abandoning a mother during pregnancy  
  • Purposely keeping children away from their legal residence or school 
  • Having been convicted of a violent crime against a child 

Cases where a parent abandons children (even if they are left in the care of another) without expressing an intent to return and/or failing to provide financial support for the kids during that period of abandonment can also lead to one’s parental rights being terminated. 

Recent years have seen a nationwide trend indicating fewer cases where petitions to terminate one’s parental rights have been approved. However, according to information shared by the Associated Press, Texas is one of the few states that has defied that trend.