You Deserve Justice

Can you terminate your ex’s rights to your shared child?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2022 | Child Custody & Support |

As the custodial parent of your child, you already take care of them all day, every single day. You are the one that buys them shoes for school and gets them to their doctor’s appointments. However, you may still need to discuss certain issues with the other parent before taking action.

Even if they don’t show up for time with your kid, they can make your life a nightmare if they don’t agree with what you do for your child’s schooling or healthcare by dragging you through the family courts. Some parents with an ex who does not play an active role in their child’s life made find the idea of terminating their ex’s parental rights intriguing.

Does Arkansas state law allow you to end your ex’s relationship with your child?

If they agree, you can terminate their parental rights

Arkansas does allow for the voluntary termination of parental rights in some circumstances. Typically, there needs to be another parent willing to adopt the child, like a stepparent who has an established relationship already.

However, devoted single parents may be able to convince the courts to permit a voluntary termination of the other parent’s right if the judge agrees that such a change would be in the best interests of the child. After all, ensuring that you can take timely action when your child needs support in school or requires medical care is better than leaving you waiting for a response from someone who doesn’t have a relationship with your child. 

What if they don’t agree?

Although it is not particularly common, the Arkansas courts can involuntarily terminate a parent’s rights. If your ex will not sign off on ending their rights but they do not show up for parenting time, contribute financially or otherwise help support your child, a judge might agree that it would be best for the child to end the legal rights of the uninvolved parent.

Even if you cannot get your ex to cooperate or convince the courts to terminate their rights, you could still potentially ask for a custody modification that grants you sole legal decision-making authority for your child so that you will no longer have to defer to the other parent when making crucial choices. Educating yourself about the rules that apply to custody matters in Arkansas will make you a better advocate for your child and the relationship that you have with them.