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Recent Tennessee Child Custody Law Court of Appeals Decisions

In Re: Adoption of Marissa O. R.
W2013-01733-COA-R3-PT 05/30/14
Authoring Judge: Judge Holly M. Kirby
Trial Court Judge: Judge Walter L. Evans
This is a petition for termination of parental rights and adoption. The parents of the child at issue divorced in 2007. The father moved to Colorado, and the mother was designated the child’s primary residential parent. The father was given parenting time in Colorado during the child’s spring, winter, and summer vacations, as well as parenting time in Tennessee at any time, with reasonable notice. The father exercised his parenting time only for a single 30-day period each summer in 2008, 2009, and 2010. After the child’s summer 2010 visit, the father scheduled no parenting time. In July 2011, the mother and her husband filed the instant petition to terminate the father’s parental rights and for the mother’s husband to adopt the daughter. The petition alleged abandonment by willful failure to visit during the four-month period preceding the filing of the petition. After a trial, the trial court denied the petition. It held that the petitioners did not establish grounds for termination and that the child’s best interest would not be served by terminating the father’s parental rights. The petitioners now appeal. After careful review of the record, we hold that clear and convincing evidence supports the termination of the father’s parental rights, and so reverse the trial court’s denial of the petition.
See the entire Marissa O.R. opinion

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