Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Domestic Relations

Aug 16, 2023

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Termination of Parental Rights – Abandonment – Blocked Calls – Single-Ground Jurisprudence

Although, during part of the six-month period preceding the petitioner-Mother’s filing of the petition to terminate the respondent-Father’s parental rights, Father was subject to a domestic violence protective order and Mother blocked his calls, Father had – but did not use – other avenues to support the parties’ three children emotionally and financially. We affirm […]

Aug 16, 2023

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Guardianship – ICPC – Study Unnecessary

In determining guardianship for the respondent-Mother’s three young children, the trial court was deciding whether to eliminate the children’s maternal Grandmother, who lives in Georgia, from consideration. As such, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children did not require the trial court to wait for the results of Grandmother’s home study before awarding guardianship […]

Aug 7, 2023

Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Failure to Preserve Claim – Inexcusable Neglect

When the plaintiff-wife filed her divorce complaint, she included an equitable distribution claim. The defendant-husband, proceeding pro se, did not respond. During the divorce hearing, defendant was advised that he had not properly preserved his equitable distribution claim, but he still consented to the divorce. Even though defendant had sent an email to the family […]

Jul 24, 2023

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Dispositional Order – New County

Most of the reunification efforts in this case were made by Greene County DSS before an adjudication order was entered; thereafter, venue was transferred to Pitt County, where all parties had moved. Although Pitt County DSS could have done more towards reunification, Pitt County DSS did enough to support the trial court’s finding that Pitt […]

Jul 24, 2023

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Dispositional Hearing – Car Trouble

When car trouble caused the respondent-parents to be late for the adjudicatory hearing, the trial judge reopened the record to allow them to present evidence, but when car trouble caused the parents to be late for the dispositional hearing a month later, the judge declined to hold open the record. We cannot say the trial […]

Jul 24, 2023

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Neglect Adjudication – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Collateral Estoppel

What started out as a truancy case revealed the possibility that the child was neglected. Even though the trial court ordered DSS to conduct an investigation and file a petition, this did not deprive the trial court of subject matter jurisdiction. Contrary to the respondent-Father’s argument, G.S. § 7B-401.1(a) does not require that DSS voluntarily […]

Jul 24, 2023

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Termination of Parental Rights – Dependency – Unwilling Grandmother

Where the respondent-Father was incarcerated and did not have a trial date set as he faced felony charges for murder, robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm, and where his suggested alternative caregiver – his mother – was unwilling to serve as her grandchildren’s permanent caregiver, the trial court could terminate Father’s parental rights under […]

Jul 24, 2023

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Termination of Parental Rights – Likelihood of Future Neglect

The trial court’s findings show that, at the time of the termination hearing, the respondent-Mother had not participated in individual therapy for at least two years and it did not appear that the therapy she had previously participated in addressed the issues that led to the children’s removal; Mother lived in inadequate housing (a hotel); […]

Jul 24, 2023

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Cessation of Reunification – Injurious Acts – Crimes Charged

The injuries that baby “Cora” suffered as a result of the conduct that led to the adjudication of abuse and neglect were “severe and life-altering.” Nevertheless, that same conduct cannot serve as the basis for ceasing reunification efforts under G.S. § 7B-901(c)(1)(f). Where the respondent-Mother was charged with felony child abuse, the trial court could […]

Jul 24, 2023

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Termination of Parental Rights – Future Neglect – Failure to Legitimate

The trial court found that the respondent-father would not be released from prison for eight more months and had made limited progress on his case plan while he was in prison during most of the case. However, the court failed to establish the degree to which respondent did not comply with his case plan or […]

Jul 24, 2023

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Termination of Parental Rights

Where the respondent-father engaged in a pattern of combative behavior with DSS, failed to make reasonable progress in completion of his reunification case plan, and failed to take responsibility for the reasons his children were removed from their home, we affirm the trial court’s order terminating respondent’s parental rights. In re J.C. (Lawyers Weekly No. […]

Jul 24, 2023

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Termination of Parental Rights – Lack of Understanding

Although the respondent-father took steps towards completing his case plan, he failed to understand (1) how the mother’s substance abuse affected the children, (2) the children’s special needs, or (3) the dangers of leaving the children alone with the mother (which he testified he likely would). Respondent also failed to accept his responsibility in what […]

Top Legal News

See All Top Legal News


See All Commentary