Parent & Child Severance Attorney in Tempe

Certain grounds must exist in order to terminate the rights of a parent. A Petition asking for Termination of a Parental Relationship must allege that the termination is in the best interests of the child, and that one or more of the following is true:

  • The parent has abandoned them.
  • The parent has willfully abused or neglected the child.
  • The parent has mental deficiency, mental illness, or a history of chronically abusing dangerous drugs, alcohol or controlled substances. There have to be reasonable grounds to expect the condition to continue for a indeterminate, prolonged period.
  • The parent is convicted of a felony crime.The felony has to be an offense which proves the lack of fitness of that parent to have future control or custody of the child, or the term of the of incarceration is long enough that the child would be deprived or a normal home for years.
  • The potential father has not filed paternity action in thirty days of the service of notice being completed.
  • The father has not filed the Notice of Claim of Paternity in a time manner.
  • The parent has consented to adoption or relinquished the rights to the child to an agency.
  • The child is currently in an out of home placement that is under the juvenile court’s supervision.
  • The parent’s identity remains unknown after three months of diligent effort to identify and find them.
  • The parent has had their parental rights to another of their children terminated for the same cause within two years, and cannot currently raise a child.


After the petition is filed, the Juvenile Court will set an initial hearing. where the court will determine upon input of the parties whether the petition is being contested.

If the Petition is not contested, the parental rights to the child are terminated. If it is contested, the Court then holds a Termination Adjudication Hearing. Usually, the Court will appoint a best interest attorney – referred to as a Guardian ad Litem – which will represent the best interests of the child. At the Hearing, the Court will determine whether one or more of the termination grounds have been proven, and whether termination is in the best interests of the child.

The juvenile court system and the DCS (Department of Child Safety) are a maze.  Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, has represented hundreds of parents and children helping them navigate through this complicated, difficult system. Robert has the knowledge, experience and expertise to help you deal with these matters and he is committed to fight for you and provide help in this difficult, delicate time. Reach Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, through email or by calling 480-860-4321 right now for a free  initial consultation.