X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Sarah Horvatich appeals a decree of termination of her parental rights to her three children, G.H., J.H., and S.H. The Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (the Department) filed an original petition for protection, conservatorship, and termination in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. �� 101.032, 161.001 (West 1996 & Supp. 2002). The Department sought to terminate the parental rights of Ms. Horvatich, Matthew Horvatich, father of J.H. and S.H., and Larry Strifely, father of G.H. After a one-day trial to the bench, the court ordered termination of all three parents’ rights. Ms. Horvatich alone appeals the order, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence to support the decree of termination. We hold that the record contains factually insufficient evidence that termination of her parental rights is in the best interest of the children and accordingly reverse and remand this cause for a new trial.

Termination of Parental Rights

Section 161.001 sets out a two-pronged test for involuntary termination of the parent-child relationship. Id. � 161.001 (West Supp. 2002). The trial court must find, by clear and convincing evidence, that the parent has engaged in one of the grounds for termination and that termination is in the best interest of the child. Id.; Leal v. Texas Dep’t of Protective & Regulatory Servs., 25 S.W.3d 315, 318 (Tex. App.-Austin 2000, no pet.). Proof of one does not relieve the petitioner from establishing the other. Holley v. Adams, 544 S.W.2d 367, 370 (Tex. 1976). Parents’ rights to “the companionship, care, custody and management” of their children are protected to the degree that they are of “federal constitutional dimensions.” Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 758-59 (1982); In re D.T., 34 S.W.3d 625, 629 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2000, pet. denied). In a termination case, the State seeks not merely to limit those rights but to end them finally and irrevocably-to divest the parent and child of all legal rights, privileges, duties, and powers normally existing between them, except for the child’s right to inherit. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. � 161.206(b) (1996); Holick v. Smith, 685 S.W.2d 18, 20 (Tex. 1985).

 
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

Premium Subscription

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now

Team Accounts

Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now

Bundle Subscriptions

Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now

Georgia Legal Awards 2022 (GALA)

June 23, 2022
Atlanta, GA

The Daily Report is honoring those attorneys and judges who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in Georgia.


Learn More

Pennsylvania Legal Awards 2022 (PALA)

June 29, 2022
PA

The Legal Intelligencer honors lawyers leaving a mark on the legal community in Pennsylvania with their dedication to law.


Learn More

Elite Trial Lawyers 2022 (ETL)

July 14, 2022
New York, NY

The National Law Journal Elite Trial Lawyers recognizes U.S.-based law firms performing exemplary work on behalf of plaintiffs.


Learn More

Commercial Finance Associate (Flexible location)


Duane Morris LLP seeks two commercial finance associates to join its strong and growing 190+ lawyer Corporate Practice Group. The ideal cand...


Apply Now ›

Public Finance Associate


Cozen O Connor seeks an attorney with at least four years of experience to join the firm s growing multi-state Public Finance practice. This...


Apply Now ›

ATTORNEY -- (3 POSITIONS)- NEW YORK


Midtown NYC Defense firm seeking 3 attorneys. NJ Bar Admission a plus. (1) General Liability/Malpractice Attorney 2 years experience. (2) W...


Apply Now ›

LAWRENCE LAW LLC

05/16/2022
NJLJ Web

Lawrence Law LLC congratulates Jeralyn Lawrence, Esq. on her upcoming installation as President of the New Jersey State Bar Association


View Announcement ›

RAYNES & LAWN

05/11/2022
TLI Web

RAYNES & LAWN is Proud to Welcome Next Generation to the Firm


View Announcement ›