In re A.H.D., ___ N.C. App. ___, 883 S.E.2d 492 (2023)

Reversed and Remanded
  • Facts: Mother filed TPR action against father alleging that for more than one year, father did not have contact with or visitation with the child and for more than one year, father has failed and refused to pay child support. A TPR hearing was held where mother and father testified. Mother testified to the existence of a child support order and father’s nonpayment, except for some tax intercepts. The court granted the TPR under G.S. 7B-1111(a)(4). Father appeals, challenging the sufficiency of the petition, the failure of the court to find the TPR ground by clear and convincing evidence, and insufficient evidence of the ground.
  • G.S. 7B-1109(f) requires the adjudicatory findings be based on clear, cogent, and convincing evidence. This standard protects the parent’s constitutional due process rights in a termination of parental rights action. The court must announce the standard or include the standard in the written order. The trial court did not do either requiring reversal. Remand is appropriate only if evidence is sufficient to support the statutory ground.
Termination of Parental Rights
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