In Re: K.N.B.
Parental Rights and Custody Appeals Case
Memphis Germantown Family Law Lawyer
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark Toohey
In Re: K.N.B.
R.H.R. (“Father”) appeals the trial court’s judgment terminating his parental rights to his daughter, K.N.B., and to another child, S.M.J. (collectively “the Children”). Father is the putative biological father of S.M.J. The Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) removed the Children and two half-siblings from their mother’s home and placed them in protective custody after police discovered them living in deplorable conditions. They were placed in foster care and subsequently adjudicated dependent and neglected. A year and a half later, DCS filed a petition to terminate parental rights. After a bench 1 trial, the court terminated Father’s parental rights to K.N.B. based on the court’s finding that abandonment grounds were proven by clear and convincing evidence. As to S.M.J., the court terminated Father’s rights based upon his failure to establish paternity. The trial court further found, also by clear and convincing evidence, that termination is in the best interest of the Children. Father appeals.2 He argues, with respect to S.M.J., that the evidence is insufficient. With respect to K.N.B., he asserts that he was incarcerated during a portion of the four-month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition to terminate and, consequently, DCS and the trial court erred in relying upon that four-month period in assessing the grounds of willful failure to visit and willful failure to support. He does not contest the trial court’s best-interest determination. We affirm as to the child S.M.J. and reverse as to K.N.B.
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Termination of Parental Rights and Custody
Background: Modification of Permanent Parenting Plan CasesModification of a Permanent Parenting Plan (PPP) and / or changes in Parental Rights or Custody is usually a far more complicated case than the initial custody determination. A PPP can be modified by agreement of both parents. If the other parent will not agree to modify the residential schedule, the court can modify the PPP if there has been a material change of circumstances and the modification is in the best interest of the minor children. Before the court will modify an existing PPP, Tennessee law requires that you and the other parent go to mediation. If the court finds that there has been a material change of circumstance and that the change directly affects the best interests of the minor child, the court is required to modify the PPP in such a way as to maximize the best interest of the minor children. Click here to see more child custody information.
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