Olsinski Law Firm team

Termination of Parental Rights

Experienced Charlotte Family Law Attorneys Aggressively Advocating on Behalf of Parents

As a parent, you have certain rights when it comes to your children. However, these rights are not absolute. In certain situations, the court can terminate your parental rights. And, while there are protections in place to help ensure this isn’t done unnecessarily, parents facing termination proceedings should prepare for a fight. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our Charlotte family law attorneys have a long history of helping parents defend against termination proceedings. We’re familiar with the laws, processes, and defenses that apply and how to effectively navigate this complex and emotionally challenging landscape.

When Can a Court Terminate a Parent’s Rights?

Termination of parental rights is a significant legal action that permanently ends the legal relationship between a parent and their child. In North Carolina, the process for terminating parental rights is complex and requires careful consideration of the best interests of the child involved. Under North Carolina law, parental rights can be terminated in certain circumstances, including:

Abuse or Neglect:

If a parent has subjected their child to abuse or neglect, the court may deem it necessary to terminate their parental rights to protect the child's well-being. However, a study by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services found that just 24 percent of all allegations of abuse were substantiated.


If a parent has willfully abandoned their child without providing financial support or maintaining contact for a specified period of time, the court may consider terminating their parental rights.

Involuntary Termination:

In some cases, the court may initiate the termination process due to factors such as the parent's incarceration, mental illness, substance abuse issues, or other circumstances that render them unfit or unable to care for their child.


Termination of parental rights is often required in adoption cases, where the biological parents voluntarily relinquish their rights to allow the child to be legally adopted by another person or family.

The termination process typically involves filing a petition with the court, gathering evidence to support the grounds for termination, and presenting the case before a judge. It is crucial to work with an experienced Charlotte family law attorney who understands the legal requirements and can effectively advocate for your interests.

What Standard Do Courts Use in Termination Proceedings?

North Carolina courts use the best interests of the child standard when considering termination cases. Under this standard, courts rely on factors such as the child's safety, well-being, emotional and physical health, and stability of the home environment. In some cases, the court will also appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child's interests throughout the process.

Who Can File for the Termination of Parental Rights in North Carolina?

Under North Carolina law, only certain parties can file for the termination of parental rights. These parties include:

  • The child’s other parent;
  • The child’s legal guardian;
  • The child’s presumptive adoptive parent; and
  • A social services agency, such as Child Protective Services.

Of course, it is possible for others to refer a termination case to a social services agency.

Are You Facing Pending Termination Proceedings?

If you recently learned that your child’s other parent or Child Protective Services is out to terminate your parental rights, it is imperative that you immediately reach out to an experienced Charlotte parental rights attorney with the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC. At the Olsinski Law Firm, we will do everything possible to ensure that your parental rights remain intact, regardless of the evidence against you. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte family law attorney, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Concord parental rights lawyers at 704-918-4747. We represent clients in Charlotte and Concord, as well as in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Rowan, and Union Counties.

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