The Second Department, reversing (modifying) Family Court, determined the record did not support the termination of mother’s parental rights based on a violation of the terms of a suspended judgment:
Here, a preponderance of the evidence supported a finding that the mother failed to comply with certain conditions set forth in the suspended judgment. However, the evidence did not support the Family Court’s conclusion that it was in the best interests of the children to terminate the mother’s parental rights … .
,,, [T]he testimony elicited at the hearing demonstrated that the children emphatically wanted to be with the mother, that the mother regularly visited with the children until the court suspended all contact, and that there is a strong bond between the children and their mother. Further, the mother had not used illegal substances for a substantial period of time, was committed to her recovery, regularly attended AA meetings, completed programs related to issues of anger and domestic violence, obtained an order of protection against her abuser, and engaged in mental health treatment. In addition, while the court determined that the mother violated the terms of the suspended judgment, in large part, based on a finding that she failed to comply with a provision mandating ongoing involvement in a specified parenting class, the mother completed that class prior to the conclusion of the hearing.
Under these facts, we find that termination of the mother’s parental rights was not in the best interests of the children … . Matter of Skyler G. (Heather G.), 2018 NY Slip Op 00288, Second Dept 1-17-18
FAMILY LAW (PARENTAL RIGHTS, RECORD DID NOT SUPPORT TERMINATION OF MOTHER’S PARENTAL RIGHTS DESPITE HER VIOLATION OF TERMS OF SUSPENDED JUDGMENT (SECOND DEPT))/PARENTAL RIGHTS, TERMINATION (RECORD DID NOT SUPPORT TERMINATION OF MOTHER’S PARENTAL RIGHTS DESPITE HER VIOLATION OF TERMS OF SUSPENDED JUDGMENT (SECOND DEPT))/SUSPENDED JUDGMENT (FAMILY LAW, PARENTAL RIGHTS, RECORD DID NOT SUPPORT TERMINATION OF MOTHER’S PARENTAL RIGHTS DESPITE HER VIOLATION OF TERMS OF SUSPENDED JUDGMENT (SECOND DEPT))