IN RE: TAYLOR B. W. ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Feb 21, 2013

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

John Kimball, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the minor children, Taylor W. and Ashley W.

Attorneys 2:

Phillip McCarroll Jacobs and James F. Logan, Jr., Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant-intervenor, Brenda T., and for the appellant, Katina H.

Allison James Starnes-Anglia and Shelley S. Breeding, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Loy W. and Robert W.

Judge(s): HOLDER

Mother and Father entered into a marital dissolution agreement and a parenting plan for their two minor children. Mother subsequently injected Father with a chemical used to euthanize animals. She pleaded guilty to the attempted second degree murder of Father and was sentenced to twelve years incarceration. Mother and Father entered into an amended parenting plan that provided for the children’s visitation with their maternal grandmother and with Mother in prison. The amended parenting plan also provided for the resumption of the original parenting plan after Mother’s release from prison. Father remarried while Mother was incarcerated. Father and Stepmother filed a petition for termination of Mother’s parental rights and a petition for adoption by Stepmother. The trial court found that there was a statutory ground for termination of Mother’s parental rights and that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the best interests of the children. The trial court subsequently amended its order, concluding that termination of Mother’s parental rights was not in the best interests of the children and denying the petition for termination of Mother’s parental rights. Father and Stepmother appealed, and the Court of Appeals reinstated the original order. We conclude that Father and Stepmother failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that termination of Mother’s parental rights is in the best interests of the children. Accordingly, we reverse the Court of Appeals and reinstate the amended order of the trial court.

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