Shortly after the Copperas Cove Police Department announced a suspected interference with a child custody case involving a missing child, the 2-year-old was returned to her grandparents. The toddler was taken from them by the biological mother on Oct. 23, but the grandparents had legal custody of the child.
Parents of college-bound children in Texas and elsewhere that seek financial aid are usually required to fill out a standardized application form that is used by most public colleges and universities. This form, known as FAFSA, requires certain financial disclosures to be made. However, some of the disclosures differ depending upon the marital status of the parents. In the case of divorced parents, Child custody plays a role, especially in terms of where the young person is deemed to reside.
A Dallas judge recently issued a controversial ruling, telling a lesbian couple that they must cease living together or one of the women would lose custody of her children. The case may raise equal protection issues, but actually can affect the lives of parents of any sexual orientation who wish to live with a partner prior to marriage. The couple has stated that they believe the order to be unconstitutional, but that they will follow it and establish separate residences.
Although high profile divorce cases often make the news in Texas, one celebrity has done his best to keep the particulars of his split quiet. But with an on-going child custody dispute between basketball star Dwyane Wade and his ex-wife, some details of the divorce are starting to emerge, suggesting that child custody is not the only issue over which the former couple is at odds. When the couple divorced last year, Wade was awarded custody of his two sons. His ex-wife was awarded visitation every other weekend. But she claims in a recent court filing that Wade is making it difficult for her to exercise her visitation rights. Her attorney cites one recent example when the woman traveled to Miami, where the children reside with Wade, only to be told when she arrived that the older boy, 11, was in Detroit for a basketball tournament. She is now seeking more time with her sons.
The courts in Texas and most other states tend to favor a biological parent's custody rights over those of a non-parent. If, however, the parent is shown to be unfit or if there is concern that the child's health and safety would be negatively impacted in the parent's care, custody may be awarded to someone other than the parent. In one recent child custody case, a court considered whether a mother's status as an illegal immigrant impacted her fitness as a parent. In a decision lauded by advocates for immigrant's rights, the court ruled that the mother's immigration status was not relevant to the issue of custody. The case involved a young mother, her four-year-old daughter, and her daughter's paternal grandparents. After the woman gave birth at age 17, she moved in with the parents of her 15-year-old boyfriend, the baby's father, where she remained for more than two years. In September 2011, following a fight with the grandmother, the mother moved out, taking the girl with her. The grandparents then filed a motion for emergency custody, arguing that the mother's status as an illegal immigrant precluded her ability to care for her daughter. The trial court agreed and awarded sole legal and physical custody to the girl's grandparents.
A jury has decided a custody dispute between Deion Sanders and his estranged wife, Pilar. The one-time Dallas Cowboy and current NFL analyst will have sole child custody of the couple's two sons while he and his actress wife will share joint custody of their daughter. The two have agreed to remain in north Texas for the sake of their children.The court ruling came after a week-long trial in which jurors heard evidence of the couple's bitter arguments, which have become public knowledge. Pilar Sanders accused her husband of trying to choke her on the set of their former reality television show, while Deion Sanders' representatives said the soon-to-be-ex-Mrs. Sanders is vindictive and not trustworthy.
A child custody dispute has landed a woman in a Texas jail and may result in loss of her parental rights. After a weekend visit with her 4-year-old daughter, the woman did not return the girl to her ex-husband, who has primary custody, as required by the terms of the custody order. Instead, she took the girl with her to Mexico. When the girl did not return home at the end of the weekend, the girl's father alerted law enforcement authorities, fearing he would never see his daughter again. Several days later, the woman was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol. She currently is being held in Starr County Jail on a felony count of interference with custody. The daughter has been reunited with her father, who has asked the court for both sole custody of the girl and termination of his ex-wife's parental involvement.
Last month, entertainer Randy Travis pleaded not guilty to assault after an August altercation in a Dallas-area church parking lot with his fiancé's estranged spouse and brother. Now, Travis has filed a lawsuit against the men, claiming the two schemed with others to physically injure him, his fiancé and her 17-year-old daughter in order to gain leverage in a pending divorce case as well as to harass and humiliate Travis. Attorneys for Travis filed the nine-page complaint last week seeking damages for bodily injury and civil conspiracy. The brawl occurred after Travis, his fiancé and her daughter drove to the church to pick up the fiancé's 15-year-old son following his return from summer camp. The lawsuit alleges the fiancé's spouse and brother were there waiting and proceeded to accost the fiancé and her daughter. The suit further alleges that after Travis went to the women's aid, her brother pinned him to the ground while the spouse called a police officer he had pre-arranged to be available. When the officer arrived, Travis was arrested and issued a citation for assault.
In a scenario that could be any custodial parent's worst nightmare, a mother sends her child off to visit his father in another state. The day the child is due home, the father calls and says he and his new wife have decided they want the child to live with them. The mother then finds herself embroiled in a child custody dispute playing out in a courtroom on the other side of the country. The mother's legal and travel expenses mount. Her employer becomes impatient with her frequent need to take time off work. Ultimately, she loses the case and is ordered to pay child support to her ex-spouse. Worst of all, she now sees her child only a few weeks a year.Can something like this really happen? Unfortunately, the scenario outlined above is drawn from several real-life cases. It can be prevented, however, if one avoids making two crucial errors in dealing with an interstate child custody situation.
A lot has happened since a parent last saw her son in 2009. Her ex-spouse moved with the boy from California to Plano, Texas. And the parent underwent gender reassignment surgery, transitioning from a man to a woman. The woman believes it is time her son, age 13, learns that his father is now a woman. Will a court agree to let that happen?