An Experienced Trial Attorney Counseling Parents About Their Rights in Ada, Canyon, and Elmore Counties
Donna Case is an experienced trial attorney who is passionate about helping families navigate an often-complex legal system. She previously served as a child protection prosecutor and discovered her true calling in the legal field as an attorney protecting families. Whether you seek a termination of parental rights or seek to establish paternity in Boise to settle some family matters for you and your child, Donna can help. She will provide an empathetic and compassionate hand as a lawyer and a counselor; having logged thousands of courtroom hours, she is familiar with the inner workings of the local courts and how to tailor a creative legal strategy for your unique situation.
The Child Protective Act (CPA) aims to preserve the unity of the family whenever possible, so the termination of parental rights (TPR) is not handled lightly by the court; there must be reasonable grounds in order to terminate parental rights, which severs all legal rights between a child and their parent. As a result, the parent no longer has a duty to support the child and no longer has the legal right to have contact with the child.
Idaho Code Ann. § 16-2005 specifies that the court may grant an order to terminate a parent’s rights over their child if doing so would serve the child’s best interests and one or more of the following are true:
- the parent has abandoned the child;
- the parent has neglected or abused the child;
- the presumptive parent is not the biological parent of the child;
- the parent is unable to discharge parental responsibilities and such inability will continue for a prolonged indeterminate period and will be injurious to the health, morals, or well-being of the child;
- the parent has been incarcerated and is likely to remain incarcerated for a substantial period of time during the child’s minority.
Termination of parental rights also allows the child to be adopted, such as by a stepparent. More specifically, §16-2005 establishes that the court may grant an order terminating the parent-child relationship where:
- a consent to termination has been filed by the parent(s) of the child in conjunction with a petition for adoption initiated by the person proposing to adopt the child; or
- where the consent to termination has been filed by a licensed adoption agency.
Establishing Paternity in Idaho
Paternity is an important element of family law, as the status of paternity endows a parent with the legal responsibilities and rights of a parent. Some reasons parents may seek to establish paternity could be to ensure that separated parents both their children financially.
Generally, there are two ways to establish paternity in Idaho, addressed under Idaho Code Ann. § 7-1106:
- Acknowledgement of Paternity Form
- Paternity Action with the Court
The Acknowledgement of Paternity form is presented to both parents at the time of the baby’s birth in the hospital and is signed voluntarily. Signing this form affirms that the partner present is the legal and biological father of the baby and ensures that the child may receive the same benefits as they would if the parents were married, such as child support.
Alternatively, if the other parent does not sign the Acknowledgement of Paternity form, the presiding parent may seek to file a Paternity Action with the court that involves a trial before a judge. To determine paternity, the judge may pursue several methods, including ordering genetic testing and issuing warrants for arrest if the alleged father does not appear in court. Paternity Actions are common routes for parents seeking to obtain child support.
Call (208) 203-1295 for Legal Support Today
If you are currently facing legal issues pertaining to the termination of parental rights or establishing paternity, do not hesitate to contact Case Legal Counsel for legal assistance. The firm can help you through every step of the process, from navigating a case for termination to filing a paternity action with the court.
Schedule a free initial consultation with Case Legal Counsel online or at (208) 203-1295 to get started today.
- Empathetic & Compassionate
- Experienced Trial Lawyer
- Creative Solutions for Your Family
- Passionate About Helping Children & Families