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Articles Tagged with unfit parent

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IN THE MATTER OF: J.M. (No. COA19-421)

Under certain circumstances, a court will remove children from the custodial care and control of a biological parent and place them with a foster family. The court then develops primary and secondary case plans. The case plans consider the children’s best interests and whether the parent is deemed fit or unfit. Courts strive to reunify the children with a biological parent, but in cases where courts determine a parent is unfit, adoption and/or foster families are appropriate alternatives. The case below reveals key findings the trial court needs to make before ceasing reunification efforts between a Mother and her child. Continue reading →

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In re C.V.D.C. and C.D.C., _______NC________ (2020).

In North Carolina, for a Termination of Parental Rights petition to succeed, a set of factors set out in N.C.G.S section 7B-1110(a) must be weighed by the court. If the balance of those factors favors termination, the trial court has discretion to do so for the best interests of the child. But does the court need to write down those specific findings? And what if you wanted to appeal their decision? Below, we discuss a case that addresses the manner in which appellate courts review such decisions of the lower courts, and whether or not a court is required to make written findings. Continue reading →

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By: Y Michael Yin, JD

Routten v. Routten, ______ N.C. _______ (2020).

Child Custody can be a hotly contested issue in divorce cases with minor children involved. In certain instances, a court can award sole custody to one parent and even deny visitation to the noncustodial parent. That determination is severe and, by law, must be substantiated by a factual basis for the denial. But what basis is required? Below, we discuss how one court did so, and the ensuing legal confusion that required the North Carolina Supreme Court to step in. Continue reading →

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When analyzing custody, the issue of who has rights to custody of a minor is commonly focused on the biological parents of the child.  In the eyes of the law, under the right circumstances, biological parents may be disfavored in congruence to “third party” individuals who assert rights to custody. Continue reading →

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By: Leesa M. Poag, Attorney, Woodruff Family Law Group

In a typical child custody case, the mother and father of a child are seeking the intervention of the court to settle their dispute over who should be granted custody of their child.  Though this is the situation most often facing family law attorneys throughout the Triad, the cases become more complex when one of the parties seeking custody of a child is not a biological parent of that child. Continue reading →

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By: Jennifer A. Crissman, Attorney, Woodruff Family Law Group

As contentious custody cases in the Piedmont progress, it is likely that a parent may be called “unfit.” In a legal context, this word has a specific meaning, and drastic consequences should the court find a parent unfit. In this second installment on standing to apply for custody, we will examine how a parent’s rights are affected when there is an allegation of “unfitness.” Continue reading →

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By: Jennifer A. Crissman, Attorney, Woodruff Family Law Group

If you have been involved with a highly contentious custody case in the Triad, you know that family members will start coming out of the woodwork to ask for custody of the minor children. This phenomenon is even more prevalent when the parents are not adequately caring for their children. This multi-part series will examine who can have standing to apply for custody of the minor children under North Carolina law, and the analysis the Court must follow. In part one of our series, we will examine the Constitutional Rights of the biological parents, which is the bedrock for all subsequent analysis by the Court. Continue reading →