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How to Re-Establish Parental Rights & Custody of a Child

By Mike Broemmel ; Updated June 13, 2017

Losing your basic parental rights, including custody of your child, usually is the result of a determination by the court that you somehow were associated with the abuse, neglect or abandonment of your child, according to the American Bar Association Section of Family Law. Only in extreme cases is a finding of abuse, neglect or abandonment likely to result in a permanent termination of parental rights. Strategies exist to aid you in reestablishing parental rights and regaining custody of your child.

Review the reintegration plan approved by the court in your case. When an allegation of abuse, neglect or abandonment is confirmed by a court, a reintegration plan is developed by the county or state social services agency and is approved by the judge. The plan sets forth the steps you must complete to obtain full parental rights and custody of a child.

Complete all of the elements of the reintegration plan. For example, if you must successfully finish a parenting course, you must complete this step.

Obtain from the court clerk a motion to reestablish full parental rights and custody. Court clerks typically maintain a selection of standard forms for people not represented by attorneys.

Fill in the form, including the steps you completed as required by the reintegration plan. Note that the best interests of your child will be served by reuniting the minor with you

File the motion with the court clerk.

Request a hearing date on your motion from the court clerk or the administrative assistant to the judge assigned your case.

Send a copy of the motion to the other parent, together with the date and time of the hearing.

Attend the hearing and present evidence supporting your position that returning your child to you is appropriate.

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