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Family Law

Dec 6, 2019

Domestic Relations: Termination of Parental Rights-Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

On appeal from the trial court’s grant of the petition for adoption filed by the guardians of K.A.F., which effectively terminated father’s parental rights, father argued that his counsel failed to adequately communicate with him prior to trial, failed to seek discovery, failed to call witnesses, failed to cross-examine the guardians or object to their […]

Dec 5, 2019

Domestic Relations: Child Support-Modification-Increased Income

Where a father challenged the denial of his motion to modify child support, which was based on the mother’s increased income, the trial court did not err in denying the motion because there was not a substantial and continuing change of circumstances, and the court did not abuse its discretion in awarding the mother less […]

Nov 22, 2019

Domestic Relations: Termination of Parental Rights-Failure to Complete Service Agreement

Father appealed from the termination of his parental rights to his children. The children’s division petitioned to terminate father’s parental rights on grounds he had abused and/or neglected the children by leaving them without parental support or making arrangements to visit or communicate with them, after father repeatedly failed to comply with his service agreement […]

Nov 22, 2019

Domestic Relations: Divorced Parents-Termination of Parental Rights

Mother appealed from the termination of her parental rights. Mother divorced father, who subsequently married petitioner. Mother and father’s parenting plan contemplated the significant geographical distance between the parties. The court denied termination of mother’s parental rights to one of her children but granted termination as to the other child and granted petitioner’s step-parent ad[...]

Nov 22, 2019

Domestic Relations: Adoption-Motion to Intervene

Appellants appealed from the denial of their motion to intervene in an ongoing juvenile case. Appellants previously adopted three half-siblings of S.M.B. Appellants’ petition to adopt S.M.B. was denied in favor of another couple. When S.M.B. was returned to state custody, appellants unsuccessfully moved to intervene. Where there was no statutory right to an immediate […]

Nov 22, 2019

Domestic Relations: Contempt Judgment-Garnishment-Jurisdiction

Where a husband challenged a judgment of contempt finding that he owed his ex-wife $66,128, judgments of contempt are not final for purposes of appeal, and the garnishment in this case arose from an underlying payment obligation in the original judgment dissolving the marriage, so the garnishment did not constitute enforcement of the contempt judgment, […]

Nov 12, 2019

Domestic Relations: Divorce-Division of 401(k) Assets

Wife appealed from the judgment dissolving her marriage, which ordered an agreed-upon adjustment in the division of husband’s 401(k), arguing that the adjustment was “contrary to the agreement of the parties” and contrary to “the opinion of the plan administrator” and that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over distribution of marital property. Where wife acquiesced […]

Oct 18, 2019

Domestic Relations: Divorce-Equitable Distribution

Husband appealed from the judgment of divorce, challenging the trial court’s exercise of discretion in dividing the couple’s marital property, in particular wife’s 401(k) and stock ownership plan, along with the trial court’s order requiring husband to pay wife attorneys’ fees of $1,500 as a sanction for husband’s pre-trial behavior. Where husband failed to explain […]

Oct 14, 2019

Domestic Relations: Family Farm-Property and Debt Determinations-Partnership

Where a wife involved in a dissolution challenged a finding that she was not a partner in the couple’s family farming operation, the trial court did not err in finding that the wife’s evidence was not persuasive, and the judgment is affirmed because the court did not err in allocating ownership or by its determinations […]

Oct 7, 2019

Domestic Relations: Child Custody-Supervised Visitation-Emotional Development

Where a mother challenged a modification of child custody that replaced her sole physical custody with one hour of supervised visitation per week, the award was not an abuse of discretion because it was in the child’s best interest following the mother’s efforts to deliberately alienate the child from her father, and the judgment is […]

Oct 2, 2019

Domestic Relations: Termination of Parental Rights-Abuse or Neglect

Mother appealed from the judgment terminating her parental rights to her child on grounds of abuse and neglect, failure to rectify conditions, and parental unfitness. On appeal, mother challenged the trial court’s findings of fact and argued that the decision was not supported by clear and convincing evidence. Where there was clear and convincing evidence […]

Sep 23, 2019

Domestic Relations: Separation Agreement-Child-Support Arrearages

Defendant appealed the judgment of the trial court finding defendant liable for a share of the higher education expenses of the parties’ daughter. The parties’ separation agreement, made part of their divorce decree, required each parent to pay 50 percent of college costs through graduate or professional school, less “other aid that reduces cost.” Where […]

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