Termination of Parental Rights Cases: Where to Start

When thinking about TPR cases, it is often difficult to know where to begin or how to visualize an entire case.  Below is a simple graphic to allow practitioners to begin to categorize and organize the information in their case.

The idea behind the TPR Triangle (which can be accessed in PDF form below) is that during the litigation process, you should first be gathering as much information as you can--from your client, from the worker assigned to the case, from service providers, from court documents, etc.  Though you should begin that process early, it should also be ongoing as you work through the case.  There will come a point, where you also need to begin sifting through all of that information and start formulating you trial strategy and the theory of your case.  When you get to that point, it doesn't mean you should stop gathering information.  

The TPR Triangle is a quick visual to help you organize your case and prevent you from getting too bogged down in the voluminous information required to successfully and effectively litigate a termination of parental rights case.

In addition to the TPR Triangle to get you started, below is an intake form to guide you in the first conversation you have with your client.  Your client can be a valuable source of information that likely will not be contained in any other files.  When talking with your client for the first time, make note of his/her level of understanding, ensure that you get their version of events, and make sure that you do not overwhelm him/her with the complicated legal process of TPR.  It is important for each parent to understand what is going on and what his/her role or rights are, but this may take a few meetings to go through everything.


FileYear Created
Download this file (TPR Intake Form.doc)TPR Intake Form2012
Download this file (TPRTRIPDF.pdf)TPR Triangle2013