Legal Memorandum: Rules governing involuntary termination of parental rights and the finding unfitness

Issue: Under Illinois law, what rules govern the review of an involuntary termination of a parent’s rights?

Area of Law: Family Law
Keywords: ; Parent’s Rights; Termination; Juvenile Court Act; Unfit
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2016

A trial court’s finding of unfitness great deference and will not overturn it unless it is contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence and the record shows the opposite conclusion is clearly apparent. In re R.L., 352 Ill. App. 3d 985, 998 (2004).

The Adoption Act lists grounds under which a parent may be found unfit. [statref]750 ILCS 50/1(D) (West 2014) [/statref].  "As the grounds for finding unfitness are independent, we may affirm the judgment if the evidence supports the trial court’s finding of unfitness on any one of the statutory grounds alleged." In re E.O., 311 Ill. App. 3d 720, 726 (2000).  A trial court’s finding of unfitness is afforded great deference because it has the best opportunity to view and evaluate the parties and their testimony and, therefore, its determination of unfitness will not be reversed on appeal unless it is against the manifest weight of the evidence. In re Daphnie E., 368 Ill. App. 3d 1052, 1064 (2006).

In re Demonquez, No. 5-15-0130, 2016.IL.0000240 (Ill. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2016) (VersusLaw).

Date: March 1, 2016

Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)