Winning Appeal: Child Custody

by | Feb 14, 2023

Child custody cases can be hard to win, especially when they involve a Department of Social Services. That’s why we are particularly proud of our recent win in In Re TDN. Our client, the Respondent-Mother, appealed from an order which relieved DSS of its obligation to work toward reunifying our client with her child. DSS was therefore free to make plans to place the child permanently in a non-parent placement, which might have included guardianship or adoption with another family. Unfortunately, it could also mean an extended period in foster care.

The appeal was successful after arguing that the trial court’s findings of fact were inconsistent with one another. On one hand, the court seemed to recognize that the Mother could prove her worthiness to regain custody. On the other hand, the court also seemed to think that further reunification efforts would be futile. Our examination of the order uncovered these discrepancies and resulted in the order being vacated. The case has now been remanded back to the trial court, where our client can continue to fight for custody.

Has DSS involved itself in your family? Perhaps when the case began, the social workers presented themselves as helpful and supportive. Over time that relationship can sour, and parents find themselves fighting DSS for the return of their children. If this has happened to you and you are facing a guardianship order or a termination of your rights so that another family can adopt your child, reach out to us. We have extensive experience in this area.

The full opinion for In Re TDN is available here: LINK

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