Articles Posted in Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment entered by the probate court granting the petition of Ella’s maternal grandmother for temporary guardianship, holding that the evidence did not support the court’s finding of a “temporarily intolerable” living situation for Ella. The probate court’s finding that a temporarily intolerable situated existed as to Ella living with her mother, Nicole, rested on its finding that Nicole’s home was not appropriate due to the limited amount of time she had been there and the existence of at least one pit bull dog, as well as Nicole’s testimony that she intended to stay at that home. The Supreme Judicial court held that these reasons were insufficient, as a matter of law, to justify an intrusion into Nicole’s fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody, and control of her child. View "In re Guardianship of Ella M. Grenier" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to two of her children pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii), (iv). On appeal, Mother argued that the district court abused its discretion in proceeding with the termination hearing despite her request to replace her court-appointed counsel. Mother did not challenge the court’s findings of parental unfitness and that termination was in the children’s best interests. The Supreme Judicial Court held that, on the facts of this case, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in proceeding with the termination hearing. View "In re Children of Tasha R." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the district court denying the maternal grandmother’s petition to adopt Parker J., granting the adoption to Parker’s paternal grandmother on her petition, and also granting adoption, despite the lack of a petition, to the paternal grandmother’s partner. This adoption proceeding followed the termination of the parental rights of Parker’s biological parents. The court denied the adoption petitions of the material grandmother and material grandfather and granted the adoption petition of the paternal grandmother while also granting an adoption to the partner of the paternal grandmother. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment because (1) the paternal grandmother’s partner did not petition for adoption and had no formal commitment to Parker or even to the paternal grandmother, and (2) the trial court considered and decided the matter treating the paternal grandmother and her partner as if they were joint petitioners. View "Adoption of Parker J." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to her children, holding that the record supported the finding of parental unfitness. Specifically, the Court held (1) based on the facts found by the district court, all of which had evidentiary support, the court did not err finding that Mother remained unable to protect the children from jeopardy or take responsibility for them within a time that is reasonably calculated to meet their needs; and (2) the court did not err in determining that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the children’s best interest. View "In re Children of Dani B." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to her children, holding that the record supported the finding of parental unfitness. Specifically, the Court held (1) based on the facts found by the district court, all of which had evidentiary support, the court did not err finding that Mother remained unable to protect the children from jeopardy or take responsibility for them within a time that is reasonably calculated to meet their needs; and (2) the court did not err in determining that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the children’s best interest. View "In re Children of Dani B." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s and Father’s parental rights to their daughter pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i),(ii), and (iv). The Court held, contrary to the parents’ arguments on appeal, that (1) there was sufficient evidence to support the court’s findings of parental unfitness; and (2) the court did not commit obvious error when it determined that termination of Father’s parental rights, with a permanency plan of adoption, was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Child of Kelcie L." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s and Father’s parental rights to their children. The Court held that the findings of the lower court were sufficient to support the court’s determination that both parents were unwilling or unable to protect the children from jeopardy and that these circumstances were unlikely not change within a time reasonably calculated to meet the children’s needs and that both parents were unwilling or unable to take responsibility for the children within a time reasonably calculated to meet their needs. Further, the findings were sufficient to support the court’s finding that Mother failed to make a good faith effort to rehabilitate and reunify with the children and that termination of both parents’ rights was in the children’s best interests. View "In re Children of Amber L." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s and Father’s parental rights to their children. The Court held that the findings of the lower court were sufficient to support the court’s determination that both parents were unwilling or unable to protect the children from jeopardy and that these circumstances were unlikely not change within a time reasonably calculated to meet the children’s needs and that both parents were unwilling or unable to take responsibility for the children within a time reasonably calculated to meet their needs. Further, the findings were sufficient to support the court’s finding that Mother failed to make a good faith effort to rehabilitate and reunify with the children and that termination of both parents’ rights was in the children’s best interests. View "In re Children of Amber L." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicially Court partially vacated the judgment of the district court granting Anne McBride’s motion to enforce Jeffrey Worth’s spousal support obligation pursuant to the parties’ divorce judgment, granting Worth’s motion to enforce McBride’s obligation to refinance the marital home, and granting Worth’s motion for division of omitted property because the judgment misstated Worth’s ongoing spousal support obligation, and the court’s intent regarding the amount to be withheld from Worth’s earnings to enforce his spousal support and arrears obligations was unclear. The Court remanded the case to the trial court for clarification and affirmed the judgment in all other respects. View "McBride v. Worth" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicially Court partially vacated the judgment of the district court granting Anne McBride’s motion to enforce Jeffrey Worth’s spousal support obligation pursuant to the parties’ divorce judgment, granting Worth’s motion to enforce McBride’s obligation to refinance the marital home, and granting Worth’s motion for division of omitted property because the judgment misstated Worth’s ongoing spousal support obligation, and the court’s intent regarding the amount to be withheld from Worth’s earnings to enforce his spousal support and arrears obligations was unclear. The Court remanded the case to the trial court for clarification and affirmed the judgment in all other respects. View "McBride v. Worth" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law