Statutory Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

If a trial court’s ruling on one of the statutory grounds for termination of parental rights is supported by clear and convincing evidence, the court’s order terminating parental rights is affirmable. 

D.H. v. Department of Children and Families, 2017 WL 728063 (Fla. 5th DCA)
Mother appealed termination of her parental rights.  The Fifth District Court of Appeal (Fifth DCA) struck part of the final judgment but affirmed termination.

The Fifth DCA found that the trial court erred in finding that the Department of Children and Families provided by clear and convincing evidence that Mother abandoned her daughter.  Because other statutory grounds for termination were supported by clear and convincing evidence, the Fifth DCA affirmed termination, citing M.D. v. State, Dep’t of Child. & Fams., 187 So. 3d 1275 (Fla 4th DCA) which held “so long as the trial court’s ruling on one of the statutory grounds set forth in section 39.806, Florida Statutes, is supported by evidence, the court’s decision [to terminate parental rights] is affirmable.”

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