Criminal Law
Criminal Law
Criminal law concerns the system of legal rules that define what conduct is classified as a crime and how the government may prosecute individuals that commit crimes. Federal, state, and local governments all have penal codes that explain the specific...
Murder
Murder
Murder occurs when one human being unlawfully kills another human being. This is also known as homicide. The precise legal definition of murder varies by jurisdiction. Most states distinguish between different degrees of murder. Some other states base...
Drug Charges
Drug Charges
Drug Charges Laws regulating drug crimes are an area of intense interest in the United States right now. Many states have contemplated drug law reforms, including the increasing legalization of medical marijuana , and, in a few states, general marijuana...
Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Domestic violence is a category of violent crime that applies to abuse and disputes that may arise in a familial or relationship context. Since the violence is “domestic,” it often occurs within the confines of the home or private...
Assault and Battery
Assault and Battery
Violent Crimes Crimes defined as violent may vary by state, but they often include crimes of harm against another person like assault or battery, sexual crimes like rape, and serious property crimes like arson. Although homocide crimes are often...
Armed Robbery
Armed Robbery
Robbery Robbery is defined as the taking of another’s property by force or threat. It is sometimes also referred to as larceny by threat or force. Because robbery involves injury or the threat of injury, it is considered a more serious crime than many of...
Burglary and Theft
Burglary and Theft
Theft Crimes Theft crimes are crimes that involve the unauthorized taking of the property of another with the intent to deprive them of it permanently. Historically, theft involved three different categories of crime: larceny, embezzlement and false...
Arson
Arson
Arson Arson is defined as the willful and malicious burning of the property of another. It is considered a violent crime and is treated as a felony in most states. According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, almost 17,000 acts of arson...
Traffic Offenses
Traffic Offenses
Traffic Offenses The law of traffic offenses, also known as traffic violations, covers unlawful activities that occur while an individual is operating a motor vehicle. Traffic offenses are typically governed by state motor vehicle codes that define...
Identity Theft
Identity Theft
Identity Theft “Identity theft” is the use of someone else’s personal information without his or her permission, usually for financial gain. While state and federal laws prohibit identity theft and provide restitution for victims, the immediate impact on...

What are Parental Rights?

In a family law context, parental rights refer to a parent’s rights to make important decisions and take certain actions on behalf of their child.  Such rights are generally deemed automatic for biological parents, as well as adoptive parents, foster parents, and in some cases, legal guardians.

Parental rights generally include:

  • The right to assume legal and physical custody of the child or children;
  • Rights towards child visitation and contact
  • Rights to make decisions regarding medical treatment for the child
  • The right to enter into a contract on behalf of a minor child
  • The right to pass property to a child through inheritance

State laws may vary regarding parental rights.  However, all courts analyze parental rights in line with the best interests of the child. 

What are Parental Rights for Non-Biological Parents?

In many cases, a person that is not related to the child may assume full legal and physical custody of the child.  This often happens in the case of adoption, as well as in cases of divorce where one spouse marries a different partner than the child’s biological parent. 

In such cases, non-biological parents generally have the same rights as biological parents, so long as they are legally recognized as the child’s parent.  In some cases, the non-biological parent may even obtain more parental rights than the biological parent.  This happens if the biological parent is unable to fulfill their parental duties due to incapacity or incarceration. 

What are Parental Rights after a Parent has Transferred Custody to another?

When a parent transfers custody to the other parent, their parental rights might not always be completed terminated.  They may retain some of their rights, especially if physical custody is being split between the parents. 

These retained rights are called “residual parental rights” and may include:

  • Rights to visit the child (“visitation rights”)
  • Rights to consent to the child’s adoption
  • Rights to conclude on the child’s religious participation

Thus, it’s important for both parents to be clear on parental rights in the instance of divorce or separation, in order to avoid disputes over rights.

Parental rights are a complex issue in courts and if you are faced with issues involving these matters, you will require a experienced attorney who knows the legal system and cares about your interests, your family and the interests of your child.  George has many years of experience on your side and can serve you to bring about the best possible result in your case.

Family Law
Family Law
Family Law Some of the most emotional and complex matters that you can face involve your family relationships. These can evolve over time as spouses find that they have grown apart, or the needs of children change. Often, spouses or parents can reach an...
Divorce
Divorce
Divorce It is a reality of modern life that not every marriage lasts forever. The divorce rate has been steadily rising throughout the United States for decades. If you are considering ending your marriage, you should learn something about the process in...
Legal Separation
Legal Separation
Legal Separation A legal separation occurs when a married couple makes a formal (legal) decision to live separate lives, often while considering or preparing for divorce . There are many reasons that a couple may prefer a legal separation instead of a...
Prenuptial Agreements
Prenuptial Agreements
Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into prior to a marriage or civil union. A postnuptial agreement is a similar contract entered into after a marriage or civil union. These agreements are typically notarized...
Parental Rights
Parental Rights
What are Parental Rights? In a family law context, parental rights refer to a parent’s rights to make important decisions and take certain actions on behalf of their child. Such rights are generally deemed automatic for biological parents, as well as...
Adoption
Adoption
Adoption If you are considering bringing an adopted child into your life, this is a momentous decision. You should take the time to understand the full scope of your options, which may be broader than you imagine. People at any stage of life can be...
Termination of Parental Rights
Termination of Parental Rights
Termination of Parental Rights The law in the United States holds a special regard for the rights of parents. Parents are allowed to make important choices on behalf of their children, and the state is rarely allowed to interfere. In return, parents are...