Termination of Parental Rights – Recent Tennessee Case

04 September 2012 Categories: All Blogs, Family Law and Divorce

The Tennessee Court of Appeals in Knoxville, TN decided a case in August on the termination of parental rights of a father (click here for entire case). The Court restated their standard of review for a case involving parental rights:

To terminate parental rights, a trial court must determine by clear and convincing evidence not only the existence of at least one of the statutory grounds for termination but also that termination is in the child’s best
interest. In re Valentine, 79 S.W.3d 539, 546 (Tenn. 2002)… Before a parent’s rights can be terminated, it must be shown that the parent is unfit or substantial harm to the child will result if parental rights are not terminated. In re Swanson, 2 S.W.3d 180, 188 (Tenn. 1999); In re M.W.A., Jr., 980 S.W.2d 620, 622 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1998). Similarly, before the court may inquire as to whether termination of parental rights is in the best interests of the child, the court must first determine that the grounds for termination have been established by clear and convincing evidence. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-113(c).


The Court reviewed the case in detail and agreed with the Trial Court that the parental rights of the father should be terminated based on the evidence.



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