Determining the custody of a child can be a difficult decision for Lawrenceville courts to make when two parents are disputing the situation with each other. The decision can be even more difficult when the children have been removed from the parent's home and they are attempting to get their children back. When creating a child custody arrangement, Lawrenceville courts must keep in mind the best interests of the children at all times.
This difficulty facing Lawrenceville courts is exemplified by the plight of a recently deported father. This father was deported to Mexico nearly two years ago after he was arrested for traffic violations. Two months later, his wife lost custody of their three children after she allegedly neglected and abused them. The father is now fighting to regain custody of the children, while social services officials are seeking to grant the foster parents legal guardianship. Officials claim that the home where the children would live in Mexico has no running water. The father claims that he has sought help to meet the children's needs, has done well in his parenting classes, interacted well with his children on supervised visits and made every scheduled visit on time. A judge will decide the custody situation of the children.
To determine who should have primary legal custody and physical custody of a child, courts must decide what is in the best interests of the children involved. This determination involves many factors. Those pertinent to the case above are the parent's financial ability to provide the children with essentials such as food and shelter, the level of adjustment required from the children to move and the quality of life the children typically enjoy. The father in this case has been accused of failing to provide the children with necessities and a low quality of life, and would require the children to move to a different country. The court must decide if it is in the best interests of the children to live with a foster family or their father.
Establishing a child custody arrangement or custody modification in any case, especially when the children are currently removed from the home, is exceedingly difficult Parents in such situations should be aware of their rights and what they must prove to gain custody of their children.
Source: Winston-Salem Journal, "Judge to decide deported father's child custody case next week," Michael Hewlett, Nov. 20, 2012