2022 Montana Code Annotated
Title 40. Family Law
Chapter 6. Parent and Child
Part 10. Termination of Parent-Child Legal Relationship -- Sexual Abuse
40-6-1001. Petition for termination -- criteria -- process

Universal Citation: MT Code § 40-6-1001 (2022)

40-6-1001. Petition for termination -- criteria -- process. (1) A district court may order a termination of the parent-child legal relationship after the filing of a petition pursuant to this section alleging the factual grounds for termination as provided for in subsection (2).

(2) Grounds for termination pursuant to this section exist when the parent of a child:

(a) is convicted of a felony in which sexual intercourse occurred or is a minor adjudicated a delinquent youth because of an act that, if committed by an adult, would be a felony in which sexual intercourse occurred and, as a result of the sexual intercourse, the child is born; or

(b) at a fact-finding hearing is found by clear and convincing evidence, except as provided in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, if applicable, to have committed an act of sexual intercourse without consent, sexual assault, or incest that caused the child to be conceived.

(3) The court's order must state the reasons for the decision.

(4) The victim of the crime or act may file a petition pursuant to this section. If the victim is a minor, the victim's parent or guardian may file a petition on the victim's behalf.

(5) The respondent to the petition has the right to counsel in all proceedings held pursuant to the petition.

(6) Before termination of the parent-child legal relationship may be ordered, the court shall determine whether the provisions of 40-6-1002 and 40-6-1003 have been followed.

(7) There is no right to a jury trial at proceedings held to consider the termination of a parent-child legal relationship.

(8) (a) An order for the termination of the parent-child legal relationship divests the child and the parent of all legal rights, powers, immunities, duties, and obligations with respect to each other as provided in Title 40, chapter 6, part 2, and Title 41, chapter 3, part 2, except:

(i) the right of the child to inherit from the parent; and

(ii) that nothing in this section may be construed to relieve the parent whose rights are terminated as provided in this part of any child support obligations as provided in Title 40, chapters 4 and 5.

(b) An order or decree entered pursuant to this part may not disentitle a child to any benefit due to the child from a third person, including but not limited to an Indian tribe, an agency, a state, or the United States.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 388, L. 2017; Sec. 41-3-801, MCA 2017; redes. 40-6-1001 by Code Commissioner, 2019.

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