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Barry, Barall, Taylor & Levesque Wins Case Involving Termination of Parental Rights

Barry, Barall, Taylor & Levesque Wins Case Involving Termination of Parental RightsBarry, Barall, Taylor & Levesque, LLC secured a significant win in probate court on behalf of our client, who was seeking to terminate the parental rights of her former partner. Our client was the victim of abuse – both physical and verbal – by her partner, “A.” She had a protective order filed against her partner in 2013, to ensure the protection of her and her daughter. At the time the protective order was filed, her former partner was incarcerated.

Since 2010, our client – “J” – had sole custody of her daughter. A saw his daughter only a handful of times in the first three years of her life. (He was sent back to prison and was released in 2021.) He provided no child support and made no attempts to be a part of his child’s life.

Our client met someone new – “L” – and fell in love. J and L married, and J’s daughter has lived with them the entire time. L wanted to adopt J’s daughter, who told her court-appointed attorney that she wants that, too. The only way to accomplish this was to petition to have A’s parental rights terminated, so that L could move forward with the legal adoption process.

Terminating parental rights is an incredibly difficult process in Connecticut, one the courts take very seriously. Generally speaking, the courts prefer to encourage both legal parents to be an active part of their child’s life.

But in this case, A had never been a part of his daughter’s life. He never sought custody or visitation time. He never took any steps to be an active part of his child’s life even though he was incarcerated: no cards, no letters, no requests for visits from his daughter. Further, his daughter had no memories of him, and she wanted to be adopted by her step-father, L. Our client’s daughter told her attorney that she wanted to change her last name, too, so it would be the same as her mother’s and step-father’s.

Attorney Barry and Attorney Barall represented J in her petition before the Probate Court, and argued that A had abandoned his daughter, and that he had no relationship with her at all. As a result, it would be in the best interest of the child to terminate A’s parental rights, so that the child could be adopted by her stepfather. The Court ruled in our client’s favor, finding there was “no ongoing parent/child relationship,” and that “to allow further time for the establishment or reestablishment of the parent/child relationship would be determinantal to the best interest of the child.”

We are thrilled for our client, and we wish her the best of luck as she and her family take their next steps forward.

If you have questions about the process for terminating parental rights, Barry, Barall, Taylor & Levesque, LLC can help. Please call us at 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation. Serving Manchester, Hartford, and all of Connecticut.