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My husband gave me Power of Attorney, do I have the right to start filing paper work on terminating his parental rights?

Houston, TX |
Attorney answers 5

Posted

You can probably start the process, if the power specifically grants this authority, but he will most likely need to be the one to make the final signature. Loss of parental rights is pretty serious and not to be taken lightly.

Every legal matter is fact specific, and there are often nuances in every case. This is intended for comment only, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

Asker

Posted

I'm sorry, yes it does grant it specifically "To act in my stead and make all decisions on my behalf including child support information etc" But you answered what I wanted to know, thank you.

Posted

I agree with the other attorney.

Terminating a person's rights is so serious that another person just cannot sign for that person. The person must sign himself in front of a notary.

Normally a judge appoints a person to represent the child's interest and that attorney normally interviews the parent terminating his/her rights to make sure that they fully understand what it means to permanently terminate their parental rights.

Harris County judges take a termination very seriously. Many years ago a superior court over-turned some terminations and re-instated some parents parental rights after the courts held that the terminations were not properly done. You can imagine how the children and the families were impacted after the parental rights were re-instated years later! No judge ever wants that to happen again so they take these terminations very seriously now. You might think the judge is being "silly" but they are actually protecting the child.

Fran Brochstein has over 20 years legal experience & enjoys educating the public about Texas laws. She is a full-time family law mediator in the Houston area. If you found this answer "helpful" or "best answer", please select the button to show your appreciation. Please understand that this is not a personal consultation and in no way creates an attorney-client relationship. You are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney in your county in person about your specific legal problem. You can contact her at 713-805-9591 - 7 days a week - her personal cell phone.

Asker

Posted

This case is for Brazos county, looking back, I see I put Houston(Harris.) Thankfully, the child in this situation will not be impacted in any way. And you're right, it is very serious. But my husband isn't able to do this himself at this point, so he gave me POA.

Fran Brochstein

Fran Brochstein

Posted

Hire an attorney. Don't attempt to do this without one. It is not a simple process. Good luck. Look on this website & hire an experienced attorney. This is not the type of case that a beginner attorney can handle. Termination is not a simple family law case in my humble opinion.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for the advice, I apperciate it. And I agree, it's definitely not simple family law.

Posted

Why does he want to terminate his rights? To avoid paying child support? The Court is not likely to approve it anyway.

Why would YOU be involved? Even if you have the power, why not let him do? Is he incapacitated?

Asker

Posted

Yes, he is incapacitated at the moment. And he wants to terminate his rights and sign them over to the person who has been caring for the child. My husband has not established any type of realationship with the child, and they don't know one another. He deemed it only fair for the person who cares for him to have parental rights.

Posted

He will need to be involved at some point unless he is incapacitated. Please note that terminating his rights does not necessarily result in him not being responsible for child support. The Judge can still order that he provide for the child financially. Also, a Court is typically not going to want to terminate parental rights (assuming there is not abuse or neglect) without knowing there is another adult ready to come in and adopt that child.

Asker

Posted

What about abondonment Mr. Roberts? He has also been unable to provide for a few years now. And the child's maternal grandparent was willing to adopt.

Posted

A power of attorney should only be utilized when the principal is unable to perform the act themselves. Unless your husband is incapacitated or out o the contry for an extended period of time, I would not suggest you to initiate these proceedings on his behalf by using your power of attorney.

Asker

Posted

Just to be clear, he gave me P.O.A to specifically do this, but thank you Mr. Prisock, I'll keep that in mind.

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