If parental rights have been terminated, the mother has no legal right to the children, according to Johns, Flaherty & Collins family law attorney Ellen Frantz. In Wisconsin, a termination of parental rights is a separate legal action from a divorce, and unless the other party agrees, rights cannot be terminated unless a judge or jury finds statutory grounds.
A termination order completely and finally severs all rights and responsibilities, so there is no obligation to provide financial support and no right to even see the children. These orders are not the same as having a provision in a divorce that the other parent will not seek time, placement or visitation with the children.
If there was no formal termination of parental rights, you may want to consult a family law attorney for advice concerning how to provide some structure and safety for the children if or when they do have contact with their mother in the future and to clarify medical decision-making.
Information provided by Ellen Frantz, family law attorney at Johns, Flaherty & Collins, SC. For a custody attorney in La Crosse WI, contact Johns, Flaherty & Collins, call 608-784-5678.