In re J.D.M.-J., ___ N.C. App. ___, 817 S.E.2d 755 (2018)

Held: 
Vacated and Remanded
  • Facts: Respondent mother appeals from a permanency planning order that awarded custody of her two children, who had been previously adjudicated neglected, to relatives (maternal aunt and uncle) who reside in Arizona. 
  • Verification: Before ordering custody (or guardianship) to someone other than a parent, the court must verify the person (1) understands the legal significance of the placement and (2) will have adequate resources to appropriately care for the child. G.S. 7B-906.1(j). Although there are no specific findings that must be made, the record must show the court received and considered reliable evidence of those two factors. The evidence, which was a DSS report and social worker testimony about the source but not amount of income and that there were no concerns about the financial affidavit the proposed custodians completed, lacked specificity and was insufficient to support the findings that the resources were adequate. There was no evidence, such as testimony from the prospective custodians or a social worker  or a signed statement by the prospective custodians, showing the custodians' understanding of the legal relationship.
Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Disposition (All Stages Post-Adjudication)
Topic:
Custody Order
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