When parents divorce, one issue that must be resolved is who will have custody of their children. Many different scenarios can be adopted that can allow for both parents to spend time with their children. Once a child custody arrangement is set, it can be modified if a change in circumstances develops and custody arrangements need to be addressed.
One Colorado father is now facing this situation. He has a 13-year-old daughter with his ex-wife, who lives in Omaha Nebraska. Under their divorce settlement, the girl's mother was awarded primary custody, while her father was allowed visitation for two months during the summer. The father and his daughter do have a good relationship, love each other and enjoy spending time together.
Recently, however, the girl was removed from the custody of her mother and was placed with an aunt temporarily. Sadly, she has now become a ward of the state in the foster care system and has been placed with an unrelated family.
Her mother is apparently struggling with alcoholism, and there is evidence of neglect of this young teenage girl. The mother is also facing charges that she violated probation for a DUI conviction.
In an effort to give his daughter a home with some stability for the time being, this Colorado father has petitioned to gain temporary custody of his teenage daughter.
Recently, a juvenile court judge has ruled that the father is fit to parent and that no home study would be required. However, he will not be allowed to get temporary custody for another 30 to 45 days. In the meantime, the judge is hoping to hear information about the mother's mental health status before making a custody determination.
It seems that placement preference should be given to a fit, although noncustodial, parent while the case moves through the court system. Although the girl would have to move out-of-state and change schools and friends, it seems that it would be in her best interest to be with her biological father who loves her and wants to be with her and who has been found to be a fit parent under these circumstances.
Source: Lincoln Journal Star, "Army dad put off again in plea for placement of daughter," JoAnne Young, Oct. 13, 2011