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Court of Appeals of Texas, Houston (1st Dist.).

IN THE INTEREST OF S.M.G., A Child

NO. 01-17-00056-CV

Decided: June 29, 2017

Panel consists of Chief Justice Radack and Justices Keyes and Massengale.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Appellant, J.Y. (“Mother”), challenges the trial court's order terminating her parental rights to her child, S.M.G., and appointing appellee, the Department of Family and Protective Services (“DFPS”), as S.M.G.'s managing conservator. In four issues, Mother argues that the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support: (1) termination of her parental rights under Family Code section 161.001(b)(1)(D); (2) termination of her parental rights under Family Code section 161.001(b)(1)(E); (3) a finding that termination of her parental rights was in S.M.G.'s best interest; and (4) a finding that appointment of DFPS as managing conservator was in S.M.G.'s best interest.

We affirm.

Background

S.M.G. was born in July 2013. At the time of her birth, S.M.G. lived with Mother. Mother testified that S.M.G.'s father, T.E.G. (“Father”),1 who had “lifelong meth problems,” also lived with her and S.M.G. at the time S.M.G. was born. On February 6, 2015, Mother was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and, according to Mother, S.M.G. stayed with Father following Mother's arrest. On April 6, 2015, DFPS received a referral for neglectful supervision of S.M.G. Mother testified that she was living with her mother at that time “trying to avoid [Father]. Getting out of a bad relationship with him.” Mother did not address the events involved in the April 2015 referral, but other evidence, including the testimony of the DFPS caseworker, indicated that S.M.G. was found wandering outside by passersby who became concerned when they could not find any adult supervising S.M.G. According to the caseworker, DFPS “could not proceed [with its investigation of these events] because [it] could not locate the mother or the father at the time.”

On September 22, 2015, Mother pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and was placed on deferred adjudication. The terms of Mother's deferred adjudication community supervision required, among other things, that Mother not use or possess illegal drugs and that she report monthly to her community supervision officer. Mother's criminal records demonstrated that she did not report as required in October, November, or December of 2015. On December 18, 2015, Mother was arrested for public intoxication with S.M.G. in her presence.

DFPS received another referral for negligent supervision as a result of Mother's December 2015 arrest. S.M.G.'s caseworker, Roosevelt Canfield, testified that, at the time of Mother's arrest, Mother “reported to police upon arrival that she had been using meth an hour before their arrival” and that Mother “had meth particles under her nose at that time.” Furthermore, S.M.G., who was two years old in December 2015, “was described to be smelling of urine and was soiled[.]” DFPS filed its petition for protection of S.M.G., sought emergency removal of S.M.G. from Mother's care, obtained a protection order, and placed S.M.G. with a foster family.

Mother tested positive for methamphetamine, amphetamine, and marijuana use on January 12, 2016, when she appeared for a show cause hearing. Mother was arrested again on January 28, 2016, for possession of methamphetamine, which led to the adjudication of her guilt for the previous possession charge. Mother was placed in jail for a period of time and then was subsequently released into a court-supervised drug treatment program.

Meanwhile, Mother was placed on a family service plan. Canfield testified that Mother completed her psychosocial and psychological evaluations and counseling obligations. Mother also completed inpatient substance abuse services and parenting classes. Canfield further stated that Mother had found employment and had obtained suitable housing the month prior to trial, although she had not maintained stable housing for six months as required by the family service plan.

At trial, DFPS presented evidence of Mother's criminal history, including her conviction for possession of methamphetamine. It also presented evidence of Mother's failed drug test from January 2016, in which Mother's urine sample and hair follicle sample tested positive for multiple drugs. However, since her release from jail and completion of substance abuse treatment, Mother had not had any further failed drug tests.

Canfield also testified that Mother's visits with S.M.G. were appropriate and went “very well.” He testified that S.M.G. “is bonded with [Mother].” Canfield testified, however, that DFPS was concerned about Mother's ability to provide a safe and stable environment. Mother was still on probation at the time of the trial in December 2016, and her term of probation had been extended into 2019. Between the time she was released from jail until November 2016, Mother lived in transitional housing, which Canfield described as “a structured environment.” DFPS was concerned about how Mother would provide for S.M.G. once she was “out on her own without structure.”

At the time of trial, S.M.G. was placed with an adoptive foster family who had also intervened in the proceeding. Regarding the foster family, Canfield testified that S.M.G. had been living with them for almost a year and that she called her foster parents “Mom and Dad.” Canfield testified that he believed it could be harmful to S.M.G. to have her relationship with Mother terminated because S.M.G. recognized that Mother was her parent. He also testified, however, that S.M.G. would face a similar risk if her relationship with her foster parents was disturbed because she was likewise bonded to them. The child advocate for S.M.G. testified similarly that S.M.G. was bonded to Mother and that the foster family was a safe and appropriate placement.

S.M.G. had no special needs. Canfield testified that the foster family was meeting all of S.M.G.'s physical and emotional needs, that DFPS's goal for S.M.G. was unrelated adoption, and that the foster family wanted to adopt S.M.G. Canfield testified that DFPS believed this was in S.M.G.'s best interest because she would “be opened up to future risk of harm and neglect” if she were to be placed back with her mother, as Mother had failed to provide the child with a safe and stable environment. Canfield stated that his concerns were based primarily on Mother's history, and he briefly recounted the incident in which S.M.G. “was found outside by passersby and she was unsupervised. No one was around and they could not find the father or [Mother] at that time.”

Mother testified that she never used drugs while she was pregnant with S.M.G. or during the first year of S.M.G.'s life. Mother testified that her problems began when Father “went to prison and then he got out [in February 2014] and did a number of things to make my life a living hell.” She further stated that Father had “put me and [S.M.G.] through some hell and I've done everything in my power to make it better for myself and her to live a safe and sober life.” Mother also testified that Father had a “lifelong” struggle with drug use and a lengthy criminal history.2

Regarding her present circumstances, Mother testified that she had earned an associate degree and was “originally going to nursing school.” She testified that she had “lots of work history” and had “worked in the chemical plants several years,” had worked as a waitress, as an office manager, and as a construction worker. She was currently looking into learning the trade of welding and had maintained her current employment at a restaurant for several months. Mother testified that she had worked very hard to maintain her sobriety and get her life back on track to have S.M.G. returned to her care. A supervisor from the court-ordered drug treatment program and Mother's recovery coach from her in-patient drug treatment facility both testified on Mother's behalf. They indicated that Mother was doing well with her recovery.

The trial court terminated Mother's parental rights to S.M.G. pursuant to findings under Family Code section 161.001(b)(1)(D) and (E) and a finding that termination of Mother's parental rights was in S.M.G.'s best interest. The trial court named DFPS as S.M.G.'s sole managing conservator. This appeal followed.

Standard of Review

In a case to terminate parental rights brought by DFPS under section 161.001, DFPS must establish, by clear and convincing evidence, (1) that the parent committed one or more of the enumerated acts or omissions justifying termination and (2) that termination is in the best interest of the child. TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 161.001(b) (West 2015); In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d 17, 23 (Tex. 2002). “Clear and convincing evidence” is the measure or degree of “proof that will produce in the mind of the trier of fact a firm belief or conviction as to the truth of the allegations sought to be established.” TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 101.009 (West 2014); In re J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d 336, 344 (Tex. 2009).

In conducting a legal-sufficiency review in a parental-rights-termination case brought by DFPS under section 161.001, we must look at the entire record to determine whether the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the finding, is such that a reasonable factfinder could have formed a firm belief or conviction about the truth of the matter on which DFPS bore the burden of proof. See In re J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d at 344 (quoting In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d 256, 266 (Tex. 2002)). We “must assume that the factfinder resolved disputed facts in favor of its finding if a reasonable factfinder could do so,” and we “should disregard all evidence that a reasonable factfinder could have disbelieved or found to have been incredible.” Id.; Jordan v. Dossey, 325 S.W.3d 700, 713 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2010, pet. denied).

In conducting a factual-sufficiency review, we view all of the evidence, including disputed or conflicting evidence. See In re J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d at 345. We should consider whether the disputed evidence is such that a reasonable factfinder could not have resolved that disputed evidence in favor of its finding. In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d at 266. The evidence is factually insufficient only if, “in light of the entire record, the disputed evidence that a reasonable factfinder could not have credited in favor of the finding is so significant that a factfinder could not reasonably have formed a firm belief or conviction” regarding the finding under review. In re J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d at 345 (quoting In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d at 266).

DFPS must establish both elements—that the parent committed one of the acts or omissions enumerated in section 161.001(b)(1) and that termination of parental rights is in the best interest of the child. See TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 161.001(b); In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d at 23. Termination may not be solely based on the best interest of the child as determined by the trier of fact. In re A.B., 437 S.W.3d 498, 505 (Tex. 2014) (citing Tex. Dep't of Human Servs. v. Boyd, 727 S.W.2d 531, 533 (Tex. 1987)). “Only one predicate finding under section [161.001(b)(1) ] is necessary to support a judgment of termination when there is also a finding that termination is in the child's best interest.” In re A.V., 113 S.W.3d 355, 362 (Tex. 2003); In re A.C., 394 S.W.3d 633, 639 (Tex. App.––Houston [1st Dist.] 2012, no pet.).

Sufficiency of Evidence Supporting Grounds for Termination

In her first three issues, Mother challenges the legal and factually sufficiency of the trial court's findings supporting its termination of her parental rights.

A. Finding of Endangerment Under Section 161.001(b)(1)(E)

In her second issue, Mother argues that the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the trial court's finding that Mother engaged in conduct or knowingly placed S.M.G. with persons who engaged in conduct endangering S.M.G.'s physical or emotional well-being pursuant to subsection 161.001(b)(1)(E).

Subsection 161.001(b)(1)(E) provides that a parent's rights can be terminated when she has “engaged in conduct or knowingly placed the child with persons who engaged in conduct which endangers the physical or emotional well-being of the child.” TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 161.001(b)(1)(E). The parent's conduct must cause the endangerment, and the endangerment must be the result of a voluntary, deliberate, and conscious course of conduct by the parent rather than a single act or omission. In re K.P., 498 S.W.3d 157, 171 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2016, pet. denied); Jordan, 325 S.W.3d at 723. “ ‘To endanger’ means to expose a child to loss or injury or to jeopardize a child's emotional or physical health.” Jordan, 325 S.W.3d at 723; see In re K.P., 498 S.W.3d at 171 (citing Boyd, 727 S.W.2d at 533, and In re M.C., 917 S.W.2d 268, 269 (Tex. 1996)). A child is endangered when the environment creates a potential for danger that the parent disregards. Jordan, 325 S.W.3d at 721; In re M.R.J.M., 280 S.W.3d 494, 502 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2009, no pet.); In re S.M.L., 171 S.W.3d 472, 477 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2005, no pet.).

“ ‘[E]ndanger’ means more than a threat of metaphysical injury or [the] potential ill effects of a less-than-ideal family environment, but that endangering conduct need not be directed at the child,” and it is not necessary that the child actually suffer injury. In re E.N.C., 384 S.W.3d 796, 803 (Tex. 2012) (citing Boyd, 727 S.W.2d at 533); see also In re J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d at 345 (holding that endangering conduct is not limited to actions directed toward child); Jordan, 325 S.W.3d at 723 (holding that danger to child may be established even if conduct is not directed at child and child suffers no actual injury).

“[A] parent's use of narcotics and its effect on his or her ability to parent may qualify as an endangering course of conduct,” and courts may look to evidence of parental conduct both before and after a child's birth and before and after removal from the home to determine whether termination is appropriate. In re J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d at 345 (citing In re M.N.G., 147 S.W.3d 521, 536 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2004, pet. denied)); In re K.P., 498 S.W.3d at 171–72; see Walker v. Tex. Dep't of Family & Protective Servs., 312 S.W.3d 608, 616 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2009, pet. denied) (explaining that relevant conduct may occur either before or after child's removal from home).

Here, the record established that Mother engaged in ongoing drug use that endangered S.M.G. and led to her removal from Mother's care. Mother testified that she began using methamphetamine in 2012 or 2013, and she estimated that she used the drug less than ten times. Mother denied using drugs while she was pregnant with S.M.G. or during S.M.G.'s first year of life. However, Mother also acknowledged that she began using methamphetamine again after Father was released from jail in 2014 and that she used illegal drugs occasionally between February 2014 and January 2016.

The record further demonstrates that Mother was arrested in February 2015 for possession of methamphetamine and that, while she was in jail following this arrest, S.M.G. was left in Father's care. Mother testified that Father manufactured methamphetamine, had a drug problem, and engaged in domestic violence. In April 2015, DFPS received a referral that S.M.G. was being inadequately supervised, but it was unable to follow up on the referral because it could not find either Mother or Father. Canfield testified that, with respect to this event, S.M.G., who was less than two years old at that time, was found wandering outside by passersby who could not find her parents. In September 2015, Mother pled guilty to the possession charge and was placed on deferred adjudication. The conditions of her community supervision included a prohibition against using, possessing, or consuming illegal drugs. Mother also failed to report to her community supervision officer during the months of October, November, and December 2015.

In December 2015, Mother was arrested for public intoxication while S.M.G. was present. She admitted to police and at trial that she had been drinking and that she had used methamphetamine while caring for S.M.G. DFPS records that were admitted into evidence at trial noted that, at the time of her arrest, Mother had methamphetamine crystals under her nose and that S.M.G. smelled of urine and was soiled. After DFPS took emergency possession of S.M.G. and placed her with her foster family, Mother tested positive for use of methamphetamines, amphetamines, and marijuana following a court-ordered drug test in January 2016. Later that same month, Mother was arrested again for possession of methamphetamine, which resulted in the adjudication of her guilt in the previous possession case. Mother was then required to serve time in jail and then in court-ordered drug treatment, during which time she was unable to care for S.M.G.

Taken together, this evidence demonstrates that Mother engaged in a course of conduct, including acts and omissions, that endangered S.M.G. Mother's ongoing drug use resulted in neglectful supervision of S.M.G., and it resulted in Mother's repeated arrests, subjecting S.M.G. to uncertainty and instability when Mother was unable to care for the child. Looking at the entire record and viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the trial court's finding, we conclude that a reasonable factfinder could have formed a firm belief or conviction that Mother engaged in conduct or knowingly placed S.M.G. with persons who engaged in conduct that endangered S.M.G.'s physical or emotional well-being. See TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 161.001(b)(1)(E); In re J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d at 344.

Mother argues that “[t]here is no competent evidence to show that [she] failed to properly care for [S.M.G.] on an ongoing basis,” and she argues that the “evidence at trial only identified one instance where [her] conduct could have endangered [S.M.G.].” However, this is a misrepresentation of the record. As discussed above, the record demonstrated an ongoing struggle with addiction that involved multiple arrests, two referrals to DFPS for neglectful supervision, confinement in jail, and completion of court-ordered rehab that left Mother unable to care for S.M.G. A parent's illegal drug use may constitute endangerment under subsection (E). See In re J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d at 345 (“[A] parent's use of narcotics and its effect on his or her ability to parent may qualify as an endangering course of conduct.”); Walker, 312 S.W.3d at 617 (“Because it exposes the child to the possibility that the parent may be impaired or imprisoned, illegal drug use may support termination under [subsection (E) ].”); In re S.N., 272 S.W.3d 45, 52 (Tex. App.––Waco 2008, no pet.) (“Evidence of illegal drug use or alcohol abuse by a parent is often cited as conduct which will support an affirmative finding that the parent has engaged in a course of conduct which has the effect of endangering the child.”).

Furthermore, it was not necessary for the evidence to demonstrate that S.M.G. was actually harmed by Mother's endangering conduct. See In re K.P., 498 S.W.3d at 171 (“The specific danger to the child's well-being may be inferred from parental misconduct standing alone.”); Jordan, 325 S.W.3d at 723 (holding that danger to child may be established even if conduct is not directed at child and child suffers no actual injury). Rather, parental conduct “that subjects a child to [a] life of uncertainty and instability endangers the child's physical and emotional well-being.” Jordan, 325 S.W.3d at 723. Even in view of this conflicting or disputed evidence identified by Mother, we cannot say that the trial court could not have resolved that disputed evidence in favor of its finding. See In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d at 266; In re J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d at 344.

We conclude that the evidence was legally and factually sufficient to support the trial court's finding pursuant to Family Code section 161.001(b)(1)(E). We overrule Mother's second issue on appeal. Because we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's finding on this ground, we need not address Mother's arguments raised in her first issue. See In re A.V., 113 S.W.3d at 362 (only one predicate finding under section 161.001(b)(1) is necessary to support judgment of termination when there is also finding that termination is in child's best interest).

B. Finding Regarding S.M.G.'s Best Interest

In her third issue, Mother argues that the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to support the trial court's finding that termination of her parental rights was in S.M.G.'s best interest.

There is a strong but rebuttable presumption that the best interest of the child will be served by preserving the parent-child relationship. See In re R.R., 209 S.W.3d 112, 116 (Tex. 2006) (per curiam); In re K.P., 498 S.W.3d at 172. Prompt and permanent placement of the child in a safe environment is also presumed to be in the child's best interest. TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 263.307(a) (West Supp. 2015).

The Family Code and the Texas Supreme Court have both enumerated factors to be considered in determining a child's best interest, including, among others: the child's age and physical and mental vulnerabilities; the frequency and nature of out-of-home placement; the magnitude, frequency and circumstances of harm to the child, including current and future danger to the child; whether there is a history of substance abuse by the child's family; the willingness and ability of the child's family to effect positive environmental and personal changes within a reasonable period of time; the child's family's demonstration of adequate parenting skills, including providing the child and other children under the family's care with minimally adequate health and nutritional care, guidance and supervision, and a safe physical home environment; the stability of the home or proposed placement; and the parent's acts or omissions indicating an improper parent-child relationship and any excuses for the acts or omissions. See id. § 263.307(b); In re R.R., 209 S.W.3d at 116; Holley v. Adams, 544 S.W.2d 367, 371–72 (Tex. 1976).

This is not an exhaustive list, and a court need not have evidence on every element listed in order to make a valid finding as to the child's best interest. See In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d at 27. The evidence supporting the statutory grounds for termination may also be used to support a finding that the best interest of the child warrants termination of the parent-child relationship. Id. at 28; In re N.R.T., 338 S.W. 3d 667, 677 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2011, no pet.). Furthermore, the best interest analysis may consider circumstantial evidence, subjective factors, and the totality of the evidence as well as the direct evidence. See In re N.R.T., 338 S.W.3d at 677.

Here, regarding S.M.G.'s desires, age, and physical and mental vulnerabilities, the record demonstrates that S.M.G. was approximately three and a half years old at the time of trial and that she had been in the care of her foster family for eleven months. S.M.G. was bonded to her foster parents and called them Mom and Dad. She did not have any special needs, and the foster family was meeting all of her needs and she was thriving. The record also demonstrated that S.M.G. shared a bond with Mother and identified her as her parent, and witnesses, including Canfield, testified that it would be difficult for S.M.G. to have her relationships with either Mother or the foster family cut off. Canfield also testified that although Mother had substantially completed her family service plan and had made great strides in establishing and maintaining her sobriety, DFPS was concerned that Mother had not established a sufficient track record of sobriety or the ability to live independently. This was because Mother had been living on her own for only one month prior to the time of trial.

Thus, although there was some conflicting evidence regarding these factors, we “must assume that the factfinder resolved disputed facts in favor of its finding if a reasonable factfinder could do so,” and we “should disregard all evidence that a reasonable factfinder could have disbelieved or found to have been incredible.” See J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d at 344 (quoting In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d at 266).

Furthermore, the frequency and nature of out-of-home placement for S.M.G. weighs in favor of the trial court's finding. S.M.G. had spent nearly one-third of her life living with her foster family. It was undisputed that the foster family was meeting all of S.M.G.'s needs, that she was thriving in that home, and that the foster parents wished to adopt her. Although Mother made good progress in completing her drug-treatment programs, she had only lived independently for one month at the time of trial. Thus, comparing the relative stability of both the proposed placement and of Mother's home, this factor weighs in favor of the trial court's best-interest finding.

And there was evidence regarding the uncertainty and instability that Mother's drug abuse had caused for S.M.G. prior to and after her removal. See In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d at 27 (evidence supporting statutory grounds for termination may also be used to support a finding that the best interest of child warrants termination of parent-child relationship); see also TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 263.307(a) (providing that prompt and permanent placement of child in safe environment is presumed to be in child's best interest). In light of Mother's ongoing drug abuse that led to S.M.G.'s removal from Mother's care and the short-term nature of her subsequent sobriety, the evidence regarding the magnitude and circumstances of harm to S.M.G., Mother's acts or omissions prior to S.M.G.'s removal all weigh in favor of the trial court's findings.

Mother argues that she demonstrated a willingness and ability to effect positive environmental and personal changes within a reasonable period of time by completing her court-ordered drug treatment and maintaining her sobriety, by getting a job, and by finding a suitable apartment to which she could bring S.M.G. Mother also argues that there was no evidence that she exhibited inadequate parenting skills or that she would be unable to provide S.M.G. with adequate care. However, Mother's arguments ignore the evidence of Mother's failures occurring prior to S.M.G.'s removal. The record contained evidence that Mother had not provided adequate care for S.M.G. in the past and that Mother spent several months between S.M.G.'s removal and the trial either in jail or in court-ordered drug treatment. The record further demonstrated that, although Mother's apartment at the time of trial was safe and appropriate for S.M.G., Mother had lived there for only one month at the time of trial. Mother had failed to demonstrate that she could maintain stable housing for a period of six months, as required by her family service plan.

We conclude that sufficient evidence supported the trial court's best interest finding. We overrule Mother's third issue.

Managing Conservator

In her fourth issue, Mother argues that the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the trial court's finding that appointment of DFPS as S.M.G.'s sole managing conservator was in the child's best interest.

We review conservatorship determinations for an abuse of discretion. In re J.A.J., 243 S.W.3d 611, 616 (Tex. 2007). Therefore, we reverse the trial court's appointment of a managing conservator only if we determine it was arbitrary and unreasonable. Id.

Mother argues that, in order for the trial court to appoint a nonparent as S.M.G.'s managing conservator, DFPS was required to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that appointment of a parent as managing conservator would “significantly impair” S.M.G.'s physical health or emotional well-being. See, e.g., TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 153.131(a) (setting out general, rebuttable presumption that appointment of parent as managing conservator was in child's best interest).

However, as discussed above, sufficient evidence supported the trial court's termination of Mother's parental rights with regard to S.M.G., and Father's rights were likewise terminated. When the parents' parental rights have been terminated, Family Code section 161.207 governs the appointment of a managing conservator. See TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 161.207 (West Supp. 2016); In re N.T., 474 S.W.3d 465, 480–81 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2015, no pet.). Section 161.207(a) provides, “If the court terminates the parent-child relationship with respect to both parents or to the only living parent, the court shall appoint a suitable, competent adult, the Department of Family and Protective Services, or a licensed child-placing agency as managing conservator of the child.” TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 161.207(a). As discussed above, there is insufficient evidence that Mother is “a suitable, competent adult” to become S.M.G.'s managing conservator following the trial court's termination of the parent-child relationship. See In re N.T., 474 S.W.3d at 480–81 (“In this case, however, we have overruled appellant's challenge to the termination, and the trial court's appointment of the Department as sole managing conservator may be considered a ‘consequence of the termination pursuant to Family Code section 161.207.’ ”) (internal quotation marks omitted); In re J.R.W., No. 14–12–00850–CV, 2013 WL 507325, at *12 (Tex. App.––Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 12, 2013, pet. denied) (mem.op.) (holding that when trial court terminates parent-child relationship, the court also “divests the parent and the child of all legal rights and duties with respect to each other” and thus parent's challenge to trial court's appointment of DFPS as sole managing conservator, rather than parent, was without merit); see also In re D.J.W., 394 S.W.3d 210, 223 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2012, pet. denied) (refusing to address complaint regarding appointment of DFPS as managing conservator when court had already upheld trial court's termination findings).

We overrule Mother's fourth issue on appeal.

Conclusion

We affirm the order of the trial court.

FOOTNOTES

1.   T.E.G.'s parental rights were also terminated by the trial court, but he is not a party to this appeal.

2.   The record demonstrated that Father had two 2008 convictions for assault, a 2011 conviction for theft, and a 2011 conviction for possession and transporting chemicals with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance.

Evelyn V. Keyes Justice