Parental Rights Termination and Drugs. Here’s an example of a case where the parental rights were terminated by the Court due to drug use.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of the mother’s parental rights to her 10-month-old daughter, holding that the trial court did not err in finding that the child was deprived, the mother was the cause of the deprivation and the deprivation was likely to continue, where the mother had a 12-year history of drug addiction and repeatedly used methamphetamine while pregnant; neither of the mother’s two other children were in her custody; the mother had multiple felony drug convictions and was in jail after the child’s birth; the mother failed to financially support the child until four weeks before the termination hearing; the mother had five separate residences since the child’s birth; the mother made no attempt whatsoever to visit the child until she filed her motion for visitation when the child was nine months old; and the mother was willing to reconcile with the father, who was also addicted to methamphetamine and had not completed any type of drug treatment. The Court also held that termination was in the child’s best interest, based on the evidence of the mother’s prior drug problems, her failure to support or develop any bond with the child, her willingness to reconcile with the father, and the paternal relatives’ desire to adopt the child.
Parental Rights Termination and Drugs. For more information see the Georgia case: In the Interest of Z.P., A11A2183 (02/24/12)
If you have questions about Parental Rights Termination and Drugs, a divorce settlement agreement, contempt, or if you are considering filing a divorce, please contact the contact the Remboldt Law Firm, LLC at 404-348-4081 for a free phone consultation.
Child Custody Litigation – Many of my clients come to my office seeking advice about child custody litigation. The first thing I discuss with my clients is how serious the journey will be – in that it will likely impact their children’s health, happiness, and relationship with both parents. Additionally, never will all the client’s conduct, words, attitudes and relationships be as closely scrutinized as during a custody litigation. Unlike other domestic relations litigation, in custody litigation, the conduct of the parents during the pendency of the litigation, many times determine the outcome of the case. Following is a list of conduct your attorney will discuss with you and likely suggest that you SHOULD NOT engage if you are considering child custody litigation.
Use of drugs
Frequent consumption of alcohol.
Improper romantic or sexual relationships.
Mistreatment of a child.
Interference with a child’s relationship with the other parent.
Failure to exercise all possible visitation or contact with the minor children.
Failure to pay child support or other support as required.
Lie or make misrepresentation under oath.
Additionally, you should assume that the other parent will be / or has been documenting your conduct. It is best, leading up to the litigation, that you should make sure your conduct does not include those conducting on the above list if you are considering child custody litigation.
If you have questions about child custody litigation or are considering your options as it relates to a change of custody of your children, you should seek out a knowledgeable child custody lawyer to help you decide next steps. A lawyer will discuss your objectives and concerns to see if child custody litigation makes sense for you.
For information about a child custody litigation in Georgia, contact the Remboldt Law Firmfor a free consultation at 404-348-4081.
Award to their maternal grandparents of permanent custody of two special needs children who had previously been adjudicated deprived, affirmed, with limited visitation to parents, as clear and convincing evidence showed that parental custody would harm children and that grandparents’ custody would best promote children’s health, welfare and happiness; while parents consistently failed to attend to children’s special needs and physical well-being, grandparents had served as children’s primary caregivers for several years, were fully cognizant of their special needs, were actively involved in securing services and therapies for children and charting their progress, and were in position due to their retirement to carefully monitor children on daily basis; for same reasons, juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in denying parents’ motion for reunification, which sought to modify or vacate unexpired deprivation order based on alleged change in circumstances.
In the Interest of D. W. and L. W., A11A1463; A11A1464; A11A1465 (09/15/11)
Juvenile court’s order, reversed, to extent it awarded custody of first child to father, vacated, to the extent it found reunification was not in second child’s best interests and placed her with her paternal grandmother, and, affirmed to extent it found second child derived; juvenile court did not err in finding second child deprived because evidence showed that mother physically abused child on at least two occasions, police were notified on one of those occasions, mother pled guilty to simple battery, and mother’s psychologist testified that she believed it was unwise to return children to mother’s custody unless and until mother sought further psychiatric counseling; however, juvenile court’s order was insufficient to allow for meaningful appellate review on issue of whether reunification was not in second child’s best interest because it did not specify which, if any, of presumptions under O.C.G.A § 15-11-58 (h) supported its findings; juvenile court’s placement of second child with paternal grandmother, vacated, because no evidence showed that grandmother’s qualifications were submitted prior to juvenile court’s custody decision; juvenile court erred in transferring custody of first child to father, after it specifically found that first child was not deprived, because in deprivation proceeding, juvenile court is only authorized to transfer custody of deprived child.
Order returning temporary custody of children to DFACS for additional 12 months and authorizing DFACS to discontinue providing reunification services, vacated, and case remanded; evidence that child was abused was based on child’s out-of-court statements, which were inadmissible hearsay because government did not show that child available to testify as required by child-hearsay statute; although trial courts presumably do not consider inadmissible evidence, order extensively discussed and relied upon hearsay, and no admissible evidence supported trial court’s findings; any error in trial court’s dismissal of new deprivation charges not addressed because mother could not show any harm from dismissal.
Order ruling that primary custody of parties’ child should be granted to father, affirmed, as trial court did not err in so ruling, based upon mother’s planned move to New York; mother visited New York with child and moved some of child’s belongings to New York, without receiving written authorization from trial court, despite trial court’s order providing that parties were not to remove child from state of Georgia during pendency of case without further written order from trial court; mother’s claim that trial court erred in failing to make written findings of fact regarding material change in circumstances justifying change in custody to father, rejected.
Increase in mother’s visitation with her two children, affirmed, as it did not exceed time of custody allowed to father and thus did not amount to de facto change of custody; trial court did not abuse its discretion in limiting parties’ communication with each other and attendance at children’s extracurricular activities, as these provisions did not infringe upon father’s rights and were narrowly tailored conditions justified by evidence; father failed to show that trial court’s refusal to admit certain cumulative custody evaluation reports was harmful, or that trial court abused its discretion in considering totality of evidence; denial of father’s motion for supersedeas, affirmed, as trial court did not exceed its authority in exempting visitation provisions of final order from supersedeas even after father filed note of appeal.
Blackmore v. Blackmore, A11A1277; A11A1526 (10/07/11)
Order modifying terms of appellant’s visitation rights, affirmed, as custody evaluation was proper in this case though the case originally involved visitation; parties were divorced and consented to joint legal and physical custody of children; appellee filed petition seeking to modify terms of appellant’s visitation; custody evaluator was assigned to case, and her findings were not to be distributed except with court’s permission; appellant called expert witness who admitted to having copy of custody evaluator’s report; trial court granted appellee’s petition to modify appellant’s visitation; trial court did not err in declining to declare a mistrial after guardian ad litem advised court in chambers about statements made by one child, while appellant was not there, since his attorney was present and made no objection at the time, attorney waited until guardian placed evidence on record in matter before objecting, guardian did not introduce unreported evidence in chambers, and appellant failed to support argument that guardian’s statements so prejudiced court that it could not have ruled properly; prohibiting appellant’s expert from testifying about the report did not violate appellant’s due process rights; expert’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure was not violated; appellant had no standing to bring Fourth Amendment claim on behalf of expert, and expert consented to the court’s request to view file which contained unauthorized report; appellant properly held in contempt of court for allowing his expert to review the custody evaluator’s report; no error in denying appellant’s motion in limine to exclude from record portions of evaluator’s report that contained the children’s statements; to degree any statements could be considered hearsay, the courts have presumed to have disregarded it.
Order granting custody to biological father, REVERSED, since trial judge abused his discretion in granting father custody without allowing mother adequate opportunity to respond or prepare for hearing on issue of custody; father filed legitimation peittion shortly after child was born, four days prior to hearing on legitimation peittion, father filed amended petition requesting that trial court determine custody, trial court awarded joint legal custody to both mother and father, but named father as primary custodian and record showed that father’s general prayer for relief did not put mother on notice that he was asking trial court to determine custody at legitimation hearing; mother’s failure to answer original legitimation petition did not waive her right to respond to issue of custody; O.C.G.A. § 9-11-15 (a) states that party is generally entitled to 15 days to respond to amendment, mother was not allowed 15 days, and in fact, was given less than two business-day’s notice, therefore, she did not have reasonable opportunity to respond to amended peittion with such little notice given to mother, there was no assurance that trial judge gave proper consideration to child’s best interest.
Sherrington v. Holmes, A10A1066 (09/30/10), 10 FCDR 3224
Award of primary physical custody of couple’s minor child to husband, AFFIRMED, as evidence supported finding that award was in child’s best interest; wife’s allegations of sexual abuse were inconclusive, wife’s handling of allegations had negative effect on child’s relationship with her father, husband, who worked nights, had assistance with childcare and husband was able to provide for his child’s need.