When the parent facing termination fights it
Occasionally, you get lucky and the non-involved parent voluntarily asks to have his or her own parental rights severed. Or the parent at least agrees to go along with the other parent who suggests parental termination, or with a court, social service agency, or counselor. Such cooperation makes things much easier.
But if the parent whose rights are proposed for severance refuses to sign a Consent to Terminate form or orally agree to the termination, then the court likely will hold at least two hearings and maybe more.
At the initial hearing, the judge makes sure everyone has notice of the request and is aware of what parental termination means. The judge also answers any procedural questions, may assign a guardian ad litem to advocate for the child’s best interests, sets any rules regarding discovery, and schedules the final adjudicatory hearing.
At this point, the party who wants the termination scurries about, trying to pull together as many witnesses, documents, and other evidence as possible. This evidence may further convince the court that it would be best for everyone to cut the other parent’s ties with the child.