There are a variety of reasons why you might want to terminate the parental rights of the other parent of your child — especially if he or she is a deadbeat. Maybe you want to move to another state for a job opportunity or a better life, but the other parent won’t give permission. Maybe you want your new husband or wife to adopt your child and the other parent protests. Finally, maybe you want to protect your children from a potentially dangerous mother or father.

In most cases, Maryland courts will strive to preserve the child’s relationship with the other parent, but if he or she poses a serious risk to the well-being of the children, the court may grant your request take away parental rights for the following reasons:

  • The other parent has committed severe and chronic abuse against family members.
  • The other parent has committed sexual abuse.
  • The other parent has abandoned the child, failed to pay child support and shown extreme disinterest in having a relationship with the child.
  • The parent has a history of long-term mental illness.
  • The parent has a history of long-term alcohol- or drug-caused incapacity.
  • Imprisonment that requires the child to go to foster care.

In many cases, Maryland courts prefer to award supervised visitation to a potentially dangerous parent instead of completely stripping one of his or her parental rights. Regardless of the situation, you may have various legal options at your disposal to protect your children while increasing your custodial rights over the children involved in the dispute.