In re S.T.B., 235 N.C. App. 290 (2014)


  • A child support order is a determination of a parent’s ability to pay for his child’s needs. As a result, the finding that a parent failed to pay the court ordered child support is sufficient to terminate parental rights on the grounds of failure to pay for the reasonable cost of a child’s care while in foster care. The petitioner is not required to prove the parent has an ability to pay, and the termination order need not find the parent has an ability to pay during the period the termination of parental rights is based upon.
  • Facts: Respondent Father appealed termination of his parental rights to his two children (one who had been adjudicated dependent; and one who had been adjudicated neglected) on the grounds that he failed to pay the reasonable portion of the cost of care while his children were in foster care.  Prior to the termination of parental rights hearing, he was ordered to pay $50/month in child support, which he did not pay.
Termination of Parental Rights
Failure to Pay Reasonable Cost of Care
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