Where the respondent-father had not had contact with “David” since 2012, shared no parental bond with David, had made only sporadic child support payments since 2010 with multiple years of non-payment, and was $60,456 in arrears, the trial court could conclude that respondent had neglected David since 2012 and had willfully abandoned David for at least six months preceding the filing of the 2021 petition.
We affirm the termination of respondent’s parental rights.
The petitioner-mother has been married to a Marine gunnery sergeant since 2013 and has two children with him. David, born in 2009, is close to his stepfather, who wishes to adopt him. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining that terminating respondent’s parental rights was in David’s best interest.
In re D.E.G. (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-332-22, 7 pp.) (John Arrowood, J.) Appealed from Onslow County District Court (Robert Gilmore, J.) Michael Spivey for respondent; no brief filed for petitioner or guardian ad litem. 2022-NCCOA-544