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Father's failure to rectify alcohol abuse and domestic violence results in termination of parental rights

The court held that the trial court properly terminated the respondent-father's parental rights to the two children (SK and JK) where the statutory grounds for termination were established by clear and convincing evidence and termination was in the children's best interests. Based on the record, the court was not left with a definite and firm conviction that the trial court erred in finding that the ground in § 19b(3)(c)(i) was proven by clear and convincing evidence. "A parent's parental rights may be terminated pursuant to subsection (c)(i) if 182 or more days have elapsed from the initial dispositional order and the 'conditions that led to the adjudication continue to exist and there is no reasonable likelihood that the conditions will be rectified within a reasonable time considering the child's age.'" It was undisputed that more than 182 days passed between the initial dispositional order and the termination hearing. The conditions leading to adjudication were improper care and custody for the children and the 11/12 incident in which he pleaded no contest to assault with a dangerous weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, discharging a firearm at a building, and fourth-degree child abuse. The record showed that the pertinent conditions continued to exist. Although respondent appeared to have participated in the programs available to him while incarcerated, he was unable to show benefit from the services provided. Thus, there was no evidence that his problems with domestic violence and alcohol abuse were rectified. There was also nothing in the record to suggest that those problems could be rectified in a reasonable time when considering the children's ages. "SK is currently under four and JK is about two years old." After his incarceration the record showed he will need additional services, including (by his own testimony) parenting classes. The trial court found that his history indicated uncertainty surrounding his potential for rehabilitation. The record showed that he had previously completed a program for substance abuse and then continued to abuse alcohol. Affirmed.

Antenuptial agreement held to be valid and enforceable

The court held that the parties' antenuptial agreement was valid and enforceable, concluding that to invalidate it on the basis of one party's fault would contravene the agreement's clear and unambiguous language, and that as a matter of law, the...

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