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Utah Code 78A-6-511

Utah Code 78A-6-511

Court Disposition Of Child Upon Termination—Post-termination Reunification

1. As used in this section, “relative” means:
a) an adult who is a grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, great aunt, uncle, great uncle, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepparent, first cousin, sibling, or stepsibling of a child;  and
b) in the case of a child defined as an “Indian” under the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. Sec. 1903 , “relative” also means an “extended family member” as defined by that statute.
2. Upon entry of an order under this part the court may:
a) place the child in the legal custody and guardianship of a licensed child placement agency or the division for adoption;  or
b) make any other disposition of the child authorized under Section 78A-6-117 .

3. Subject to the requirements of Subsections (4) and (5), all adoptable children placed in the custody of the division shall be placed for adoption.
4. If the parental rights of all parents of an adoptable child placed in the custody of the division have been terminated and a suitable adoptive placement is not already available, the court:
a) shall determine whether there is a relative who desires to adopt the child;
b) may order the division to conduct a reasonable search to determine whether there are relatives who are willing to adopt the child;  and
c) shall, if a relative desires to adopt the child:
I. make a specific finding regarding the fitness of the relative to adopt the child;  and (i)
II. place the child for adoption with that relative unless it finds that adoption by the relative is not in the best interest of the child.
5. This section does not guarantee that a relative will be permitted to adopt the child.
6. A parent whose rights were terminated under this part, or a relative of the child, as defined by Section 78A-6-307 , may petition for guardianship of the child if:
(a) following an adoptive placement, the child’s adoptive parent returns the child to the custody of the division;  or
i. the child is in the custody of the division for one year following the day on which the ii. parent’s rights were terminated, and no permanent placement has been found or is likely to be found;  and
(b) reunification with the child’s parent, or guardianship by the child’s relative, is in the best interest of the child.

Final Determination And Best Interests Of The Child

In the simplest terms, a disposition is a court’s final determination in a criminal charge. On a criminal background report, disposition may refer to the current status of an arrest or the final outcome of an interaction with the court in relation to a criminal matter. For example, was the person tried in court and found guilty, not guilty, or was the case dismissed? When running a criminal background check on a candidate you’re considering for a job, dispositions give you a high-level view of any convictions, non-convictions, and pending cases that may be relevant to the position.
Here are a few common terms you might come across when reviewing dispositions, along with their meanings:

• Convicted: The person has been found guilty or has pleaded guilty.

• Deferred Adjudication or Diversion: A court has deferred judgment, typically as part of a plea agreement, to give the defendant the chance to meet requirements such as drug and alcohol treatment, probation, or community service, in order to have their case reconsidered and possibly dismissed.

• Acquitted: The person has been found not guilty. As for the difference between being acquitted vs. not guilty, the terms acquitted and not guilty are often used interchangeably. Being found not guilty is not a determination of innocence. A person may be found not guilty because there was not enough evidence for a conviction. An acquittal may also happen when a judge or appeals court decides there is not enough evidence to go to trial.

• Charges Dismissed: A prosecutor or judge has dropped charges against the person the case did not move forward.

• No Charges Filed: The person has been accused or arrested for a crime but a prosecutor has decided they will not move forward with a case.

• Sentence Vacated: A guilty plea or guilty verdict has been set aside. When a sentence is vacated, the guilty verdict is erased as if the person had never been convicted of the crime.

• Pending: The case against this person is ongoing. They are still under investigation or subject to prosecution.

• Suspended Sentence: The person’s sentencing has been delayed, often because they have been offered a chance to complete probation, community service, or a treatment program.

If you’re wondering, what does court disposition mean? And what does disposition of the offense mean? These are other disposition terms that may be used on a background check, but have a similar meaning. Dispositions always relate to a specific offense. For example, an individual can be charged with three offenses in the same criminal proceeding, and have two of them be dismissed and the other one be a conviction.


Sentencing is the legal consequence of a conviction. To understand the difference between disposition vs. sentencing, think of disposition as the indication of a crime (or the absence of it) and sentencing as the punishment. Sentencing doesn’t apply to every disposition: Clearly, if a case is acquitted or dismissed and the person is not found guilty sentencing does not apply. As far as what shows up on a criminal background check, sentencing information may not be clear at first glance. In some cases, a report will clearly show the sentence date and term. In others, you may not see the sentence given. However, using the date of disposition, you should be able to review a candidate’s history of incarceration and match the sentence to the disposition and offense. A criminal background check will also reveal any pending cases. Keep in mind that the disposition will change in a pending case if the person is convicted or acquitted in the future and a final disposition is made. The same applies to dispositions with suspended or delayed sentencing. If the person fails to comply with the terms of their probation or treatment program, for example, they may be subject to sentencing in the future.

For prospective employers, the information revealed in dispositions may have a significant impact on hiring decisions. If a report shows that a candidate has a serious conviction or even multiple convictions the perceived risk in hiring them may rise substantially. Additionally, the outcome of a pending disposition could affect a candidate’s ability to do a job in the future. It’s important to note that criminal records and their resulting dispositions may only appear on a candidate’s criminal background check report for a limited time. While felonies and misdemeanors may continue showing up on a person’s record permanently in some states, other states limit this reporting to seven years for felonies, and five or seven years for misdemeanors. Infractions are limited to seven years under federal law. Depending on the types of searches ordered, a criminal background report may contain results from national, federal, state and county databases. It’s a common misconception that a non-conviction means that a person will not have a criminal record on their background check report. A non-conviction in relation to a criminal matter in the court will always result in a criminal record and may appear on a background check for up to seven years; however, the disposition, or outcome of interaction with the court, is what’s important to understand.

Business Disposition

Businesses also dispose of assets, and very often, of entire business segments or units. This is commonly known as divestiture and can be done through a spinoff, split-up, or split-off. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has very specific guidelines on how these dispositions must be reported and handled. If the disposition is not reported in the financial statements of a company, then pro forma financial statements are required if the disposition meets the requirements of a significance test. “Significance” is determined by either an income test or an investment test. An investment test measures the investment value in the unit being disposed of compared to total assets. If the amount is more than 10% as of the most recent fiscal year-end, then it is considered significant. The income test measures if the “equity in the income from continuing operations before taxes, extraordinary items, and cumulative effects of changes in accounting principles” is 10% or more of such income of the most recent fiscal year-end.1 In certain situations, the threshold level can be increased to 20%.

The Disposition Effect

Behavioral economics also has something to say about one’s propensity to sell a winning vs. losing position based on the concept of loss aversion. The “disposition effect” is a term that describes investor behavior in which they have a tendency to sell winning investments too early before realizing all potential gains while holding on to losing investments for longer than they should, hoping that the investments will turn around and generate a profit.

Reinstatement of Parental Rights After Termination

Depending on where you live, you may be able to have your parental rights reinstated after they have been terminated by a court. While all states have provisions in the law for the termination of parental rights, most states do not allow for the reinstatement of these rights. But even in states that allow reinstatement, parents must be able to show an extraordinary improvement in their ability to properly care for a child before a court will grant such a request.

Termination and Reinstatement of Parental Rights

When a court orders the termination of parental rights, the legal relationship between a parent and child ceases to exist. It is very rare and only occurs in especially serious cases, such as those involving child abuse or severe child neglect. And even though a parent may petition the court to voluntarily give up his or her parental rights, the main consideration is always the child’s best interests. Laws allowing reinstatement were drafted generally in response to older children who were aging out of foster care and wanted to re-establish family ties. Since this process is handled in state courts, the laws and procedures vary from one state to the next. At least nine states have laws allowing for reinstatement following termination of parental rights, including. Usually, reinstatement is available only on the condition that the child has not been permanently placed with a foster home within a given period of time. In states where this is available, a parent must file a petition with the court that originally terminated his or her parental rights. The court will determine whether the parent is fit to provide a safe and nurturing home for the child. Most states that allow for the reinstatement of parental rights require “clear and convincing” evidence that the parent is fit to care for their child.

Some states’ laws have a much lower standard of proof (“preponderance of the evidence”) (like Nevada), while other states law even allows hearsay evidence in court proceedings if it is considered relevant, reliable and necessary” to determine a child’s best interests. The qualifications for petitioning the court for reinstatement also vary from state to state. For instance, Alaska law restricts this remedy to only those who voluntarily relinquished their parental rights; Louisiana law allows children in foster care over the age of 15 to petition for reinstatement of their parents’ rights; and Washington law doesn’t specify who may or may not petition the court.

Get Started on Reinstating Your Parental Rights by Talking to an Attorney
Few things are as painful as losing one’s parental rights. But reinstatement of parental rights after termination is definitely a possibility for those who have made the necessary life changes. Get started today by talking to a local family law attorney about your particular situation and learn more about the process to reinstate your parental rights. Informing an attorney to take up the case is the best thing to do.

Child Custody Lawyer

When you need legal help with reunification, child custody and other areas of family law, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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