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12/23/68 MATTER STEPHEN JOHNATHAN FLORIO A MINOR

December 23, 1968

IN THE MATTER OF STEPHEN JOHNATHAN FLORIO, A MINOR


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bifferato

VINCENT A. BIFFERATO, ASSOCIATE JUDGE

UNREPORTED OPINION

On December 13, 1968, the Orphans' Court heard a Petition of Gretchen H. Schlitz to terminate the parental rights of Stephen John Florio, her former husband, over their son, Stephen Johnathan Florio, a minor. The Petition is based on the grounds of abandonment.

The Court finds that Stephen John Florio did not abandon his son, Stephen Johnathan Florio, as the term "abandon" is defined by Section 1101, Title 13, of the Delaware Code, as amended.

From the time of the separation and divorce to the present, the father has sent Christmas gifts and birthday gifts on those occasions. He has supported the child through the Court in Connecticut, and after the Connecticut Court Order of support had been terminated he continued to send nominal amounts. He has made reasonable attempts to establish visitation rights with his son in Delaware.

Even though there was a long period of time when the father did not support his son or attempt to establish visitation rights, the Court finds the defendant's reasons to be excusable; however, the Court is not passing on their justification.

Since there was no testimony or evidence presented as to the best interest of the child the Court makes no determination in that respect. Counsel for the Respondent is requested to prepare an appropriate Order denying the Petition. IT IS SO ORDERED.

19681223

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