By Rob Hagy, Law Offices of Rob Hagy, P.C., 154 Hansen Road, Suite 202B, Charlottesville, Virginia. Call (434)293-4562 for more information or email for more information at email@example.com. I look forward to helping you!
The information provided on this web blog is public information and is not individualized legal advice. Do not take any legal action on any information contained in this blog!!! Always consulting with an attorney in your state about your legal issues. The presentation of information on this blog does not establish any form of attorney-client relationship with my firm or with me. While I have attempted to maintain the information on this blog as accurately as possible, this information may contain errors or omissions, for which I disclaim any liability. Case law from other jurisdictions discussed here are discussed for comparative purposes only. The author is licensed to practice only in the Commonwealth of Virginia and not in any other state.
Despite the foregoing, this material could be considered to be ADVERTISING MATERIAL. The responsible party for this blog is Robert R. Hagy, II Esq., an attorney licensed to practice law in Virginia, of the Law Offices of Rob Hagy, P.C., whose address is 154 Hansen Rd., Suite 202-B, Charlottesville, Virginia 22911.
In the case of In The Matter of T.R.T., the North Carolina Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred in a child neglect case by ordering that respondent mother’s sole visitation with the minor child take place via Skype. The trial court did not find that respondent-mother forfeited her right to visitation or that visitation was not in the minor child’s best interest and communication via Skype is not visitation as contemplated by North Carolina law.
In the case of Flanagan v. Flanagan, a judge's finding that sexual abuse generally occurred without making findings with regard to specific acts of sexual abuse was sufficient to justify an award of sole physical and legal custody to a mother, along with consideration of the other best interests factors.
In the case of White v. Petersburg Department of Social Services, the Virginia Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, ruled that evidence was sufficient to prove termination of father’s parental rights was in child’s best interests without consideration of his alleged sexual misconduct, his refusal to participate in psychosexual evaluation or his assertion of his right to remain silent during the proceedings. The father had not provided DSS with verification of employment or housing, he had not participated in parenting classes, and he had not paid child support or visited the children. He has tested positive for drug use in the recent past as well.
In the case of Kilby v. Culpeper County Department of Social Services, the Virginia Court of Appeals, ruled in a published opinion, that a father's parental rights were properly terminated. The termination was in the child's best interests where father failed to protect child from sexual assault resulting in internal injuries and was criminally convicted for failing to do so. The conviction pursuant to Virginia Code Section 40.1-103 is a felony assault for purposes of the application of Code § 16.1-283(E)(iii).
In the case of Perez-Velasquez v. Culpeper County Department of Social Services, the Virginia Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, ruled that the trial court did not err in terminating father’s parental rights pursuant to Code Section 16.1-283(C), determining that the DSS included father in the development of the foster care plan, holding that DSS gave father sufficient notice, finding that father failed to maintain contact with the children, and determining father did not substantially plan for the future of the children.
In the case of Messiah v. Alexandria Department of Human Services, the Virginia Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, ruled that the trial court erred in admitting the testimony from a social worker where the content of the challenged statements were admitted in exhibits or other testimony during the hearing. Further, there was sufficient evidence to support termination of father's parental rights and approval of the foster care plan.
The trial court terminated father’s parental rights under Code § 16.1-283(C)(2). That section provides that termination is warranted if clear and convincing evidence establishes it is in the best interests of the child and that [t]he parent or parents, without good cause, have been unwilling or unable within a reasonable period of time not to exceed twelve months from the date the child was placed in foster care to remedy substantially the conditions which led to or required continuation of the child’s foster care placement, notwithstanding the reasonable and appropriate efforts of social, medical, mental health or other rehabilitative agencies to such end.
Father does not argue that he substantially corrected or eliminated the conditions which led to the child’s placement. He merely contends that he "pursued numerous services independent of Alexandria DHS."
At the time of the hearing, the child was two years old and had been either in the care of his grandparents or foster care for most of his life. Not only had father failed to secure stable housing or employment during that time, he had refused mental health therapy or medication despite the knowledge he suffered from bipolar disorder and anger management issues. In addition, father had been incarcerated for several months after being convicted for drug distribution. While father’s incarceration, per se, did not warrant the termination of his parental rights, it was "a valid and proper circumstance" the trial court could consider in deciding whether termination was in the child's best interests. Furthermore, from the time father was incarcerated in November 2007 until the termination hearing in June 2008, he saw the child on only three occasions.
In the case of Williams-Brooks v. Virginia Department of Social Services, the Virginia Court of Appeals, upheld a court's ruling affirming a Level 3 founded disposition of physical neglect (inadequate supervision) where Williams-Brooks, a day care provider, who picked a child up from the bus stop and kept the child for a period of time, dropped the child off at his grandmother's house when the grandmother was not at home without insuring the grandmother was present. The child was alone for 30 mintues.
Virginia Code Section 20-108.2 This provision of Virginia law sets forth the child support guidelines-a table of reference for determining the base monthly child support obligation.
Virginia Code Section 20-124.3 This statute sets forth the factors that a court will consider in divorce proceedings, temporary proceedings, or modification proceedings to determine what custody and visitation arrangement would be best for the child or children involved.