A request to terminate parental right has been held to be tantamount to the civil death penalty, therefore, the Court takes considerable caution in determining whether or not to grant a request to terminate parental rights. In fact, the Constitution of the United States protects parental rights, thereby forcing the Court to hold a trial if a termination of parental right is challenged.
Pursuant to the Nevada Revised Statutes chapter 128, and case law, there is a two (2) part test the Court must apply to determine whether a request should be granted. The two (2) part test must be proven by clear and convincing evidence which is the most stringent requirement of proof.
The two (2) part test which begins with determining whether the child’s best interest will be served by terminating parental rights and when the Court determines termination is in the best interest of the child, the Court must then determine whether parental fault exists warranting a termination of parental rights. The grounds for parental fault are set for in Nevada Revised Statute 125.105 which states as follows:
- Abandonment of the child
- Neglect of the child
- Unfitness of the parent
- Failure of parental adjustment
- Risk of serious physical, mental or emotional injury to the child if he were returned to, or remains in, the home of his parent or parents
- Only token efforts by the parent or parents:
- To support or communicate with the child
- To prevent the neglect of the child
- To avoid being an unfit parent; or
- To eliminate the risk of serious physical, mental or emotional injury to the child; or
- With respect to termination of the parental rights of one parent, the abandonment by that parent.
If the Court determines it is in the best interest to terminate parental rights and one (1) ground for parental fault exists, the Court may grant the request for termination.