On 9 May 2013, the Michigan Court of Appeals decided the case of In re Moss, which clarifies the two main burdens of proof required for the termination of parental rights. According to MCL 712A.19b(3), the court may terminate parental rights if it finds at least one of several statutory factors by clear and convincing evidence.
According to MCL 712A.19b(5), the court must then find that such termination of parental rights is in the best interests of the children. Since the statute was amended in 2008, however, there is no mention of a burden of proof for this second determination. As a result, the Court of Appeals has now held that the petitioner must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the termination of parental rights is in the children’s best interests.