IN THE INTEREST OF T.W. AND X.W., CHILDREN
the 85th District Court Brazos County, Texas Trial Court No.
Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, and Justice Neill.
bench trial, the trial court rendered a final order
terminating the parental rights of Appellant
to his children, T.W. and X.W. V.A., the children's
mother, executed an affidavit of relinquishment of parental
rights prior to trial and does not appeal.
raises two issues on appeal: (1) the evidence is factually
insufficient to support the best-interest finding, and (2)
the trial court erred in failing to allow him to represent
himself. We affirm the trial court's termination order.
parental termination cases, due process requires the
application of the clear and convincing evidence standard of
proof. In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d 256, 263 (Tex. 2002).
Both legal and factual sufficiency reviews in termination
cases require consideration of whether the evidence is such
that a factfinder could reasonably form "a firm belief
or conviction as to the truth of the allegations sought to be
established." Id. at 264.
factual sufficiency review, a court of appeals must give due
consideration to evidence that the factfinder could
reasonably have found to be clear and convincing.
Id. at 266.
[T]he inquiry must be "whether the evidence is such that
a factfinder could reasonably form a firm belief or
conviction about the truth of the State's
allegations." A court of appeals should consider whether
disputed evidence is such that a reasonable factfinder could
not have resolved that disputed evidence in favor of its
finding. 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,
then the evidence is factually insufficient.
Id. (footnotes and citations omitted); see also
In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d 17, 25 (Tex. 2002).
due deference to the factfinder's findings and must not
substitute our judgment for that of the factfinder. In re
H.R.M., 209 S.W.3d 105, 108 (Tex. 2006). The factfinder
is the "sole arbiter when assessing the credibility and
demeanor of witnesses." In re A.B., 437 S.W.3d
498, 503 (Tex. 2014). While the reviewing court must detail
the evidence relevant to the issue of parental termination
when reversing a finding based upon insufficient
evidence, it need not do so when affirming a verdict
of termination. Id.
proceeding to terminate the parent-child relationship brought
under Family Code § 161.001, the Department must
establish by clear and convincing evidence two elements: (1)
one or more acts or omissions enumerated under subsection
(b)(1) of § 161.001, termed a predicate violation;
and (2) that termination is in the best interest of
the child. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001(b)(1), (2);
Swate v. Swate, 72 S.W.3d 763, 766 (Tex. App.-Waco
2002, pet. denied). The factfinder must find that both
elements are established by clear and convincing evidence,
and proof of one element does not relieve the Department of
the burden of proving the other. Holley v. Adams,
544 S.W.2d 367, 370 (Tex. 1976); Swate, 72 S.W.3d at
766. Randy does not challenge the trial court's findings
regarding the predicate violation under §
161.001(b)(1)(O), but only the finding that termination is in
the best interest of the children.
Interest of the Children
strong presumption exists that maintaining the parent-child
relationship is in a child's best interest. In re
R.R., 209 S.W.3d 112, 116 (Tex. 2006); In re
L.M., 104 S.W.3d 642, 647 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.]
2003, no pet.). But, it is also presumed that the prompt and
permanent placement of a child in a safe environment is in
the child's best interest. See Tex. ...