Published Family Law Opinion from Ky Court of Appeals Today -Directed Verdict Dismissing Termination of Parental Rights Petition Against Imprisoned Father Affirmed

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COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, CABINET FOR HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES V. C.L.H., ET AL.

The Appellate Court affirms the Trial Court’s grant of a directed verdict and dismissing the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ (CHFS) petition to terminate the parental rights of father. Although the father is in Federal prison on drug charges until 2019, his prior involvement with his child was positive and beneficial. Additionally, father maintains regular prison visits with the child which are also beneficial. The father’s incarceration and length of incarceration alone  are not enough to support finding of abandonment or neglect necessary to sustain the CHFS Petition in light of the strong “fundamental liberty interest” a natural parent has in “the care, custody, and management” of his or her child.

Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell.

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