Berman & Asbel, LLP

Intense child custody dispute sends kids to juvenile detention

Many divorce disputes among parents in Pennsylvania may seem minor compared to one recent headline-grabbing child custody battle. The extreme case produced an international outcry when a family court judge in Michigan sent three siblings, ages 9, 10, and 14, to a juvenile detention facility when they refused a court order to visit their father.

Criticism of the heavy-handed action prompted the judge to subsequently transfer the children to a summer camp. The father, who has recently immigrated from Israel, now wants to gain full legal custody of his children. According to his motion filed with the court on July 15, he claims that his ex-wife sabotaged his relationship with the children and made them afraid of him. He has also requested that she be evaluated for psychological problems.

During the custody dispute, the mother has gone through close to 10 divorce attorneys. One of them said that an in-depth hearing would need to be conducted before full custody could be given to the father. Several factors play a role in such a legal decision, including a parent's ability to provide basic necessities and enjoy an affectionate relationship with the children.

This case represents an extreme dispute, but a court must make a decision any time a divorcing couple cannot agree to child custody terms. Individuals attempting to get full or partial custody of children could seek advice and representation from an attorney. A lawyer may gather evidence to support a case and could persuade a judge that the parent can meet the legal standards for custody or visitation rights.

Source: Yahoo, "Dad Battling for Custody of Kids Who Were Locked Up for Refusing to See Him," Beth Greenfield, July 17, 2015

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