Differentiating Between Loss of Child Custody & Revocation of Parental Rights & Privileges

30 March 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog


To the common person, termination of parental rights and loss of child custody are two legal terms that often evoke confusion and misinterpretation. These two legal expressions are usually mistaken for one another, in spite of the fact that they have very different meanings. The objective of this article is to clear the misconception between loss of child custody and revocation of parental rights.

Loss of Child Custody

A family lawyer on behalf of one of the spouse can file for the modification of child custody by proving that the other spouse is irresponsible and not fit to parent. Upon sufficient proof, the court awards custody of the child to the more responsible parent. In summary, loss of child custody doesn't have an effect on the legal association between a biological parent and their kid. It only affects the living arrangements.

If you lose parental custody of your kid, the law prohibits you from living under the same roof with your child. In effect, your spouse is left with the sole custody of the child.

Despite losing custody of your child, you still have the legal right to request for visitation. Legally, you still retain the ability to influence your kid's religion, values, education and healthcare. Further, your kid is still the rightful heir or heiress of your estate and belongings. Last but not least, you maintain a legal responsibility to finance the upkeep of your child. In other words, you will be making payments on a monthly basis for child support.

Remember, child custody rulings can be reviewed later if circumstances change. For example, if a parent previously lost custody has since reformed from their drug addiction, they could prove that they are fit to parent again.

Revocation of Parental Rights

Termination or revocation of parental rights is a legal expression that refers to severing the rights, privileges as well as responsibilities of biological parents to their children.

Once your parental rights are revoked, it means that you are totally cut off both physically and legally from your child. You no longer can influence their upbringing, discipline them or control the child's money and property. Further, you cannot get in touch with the child without permission from the kid's adoptive parents.

There are two ways to revoke parental rights namely voluntary and involuntary termination. Voluntary revocation is where one or both biological parents purposely decide to give up their parental rights in the best interests of the kid. For example, maybe the birth parents are seriously ill and unable to take good care of the child.

An involuntary revocation, on the other hand, may occur when one biological parent attempts to legally terminate the rights of the other biological parent. Involuntary revocation may also be sought by Child Welfare Services in cases of physical abuse and failure to financially support the kid and allow the kid to be adopted. Unlike child custody rulings, termination of parental rights is irreversible.

Family lawyers are best suited to explain in detail the intricacies concerning loss of child custody and revocation of parental rights.