Mother in Texas Family Law Case Unsuccessfully Argues for Reversal of Order Terminating Parental Rights

In a recent case before an appellate court in Texas, the mother appealed a trial court’s ruling terminating her parental rights to three children. On appeal, the mother argued that the evidence presented during trial was insufficient to find that she was unable to parent her children. The higher court reviewed the evidence, considered the mother’s argument, and ultimately affirmed the original decision. The mother’s rights therefore remained terminated after the appellate court’s ruling.

Facts of the Case

This case began when the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services filed an emergency petition with a trial court in January 2022, alleging that the mother of three children had been exposing her kids to both alcohol abuse and domestic violence. After holding a hearing, the court decided that the three children should live temporarily with their aunt, until the mother could find a stable job, take parenting classes, and work with a country drug court. The court then ordered the mother to complete these steps before she appeared again for trial.

Ultimately, the court held a trial in June 2023 and found that the mother had not taken any of the steps that would allow her to regain custody of her children. The court terminated her parental rights, and she promptly appealed the decision.

The Decision

On appeal, the mother asked the appellate court to reconsider the lower court’s ruling because the evidence was insufficient to support the termination of her parental rights. The job of the appellate court, then, was to thoroughly look over the evidence presented at trial to find out if it was enough to support the case against her.

In its order, the court noted several facts established at trial: the mother consumed large amounts of alcohol, she became violent on several occasions toward her children, and she failed on many days to take her children to school. What’s more, said the court, she did not complete the steps that the trial court ordered her to complete – by not finding employment, taking parenting classes, and working with the drug court, she failed to show that she was prepared to resume caring for her young children.

For these reasons, said the higher court, the evidence was, indeed, sufficient to support the trial court’s order terminating the mother’s parental rights. The trial court’s order of termination was therefore affirmed.

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At Guest & Gray, we prioritize getting our clients the results they need, when they need them the most. We take on family law cases for individuals in Texas are experiencing issues surrounding divorce, custody, child support, alimony, and a host of other family law matters. If you are looking for guidance in your case, call us today for a free and confidential consultation at 972-564-4644. You can also fill out our online form to have a member of our team reach back out to you as soon as possible.


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