Many people in New Jersey have no doubt heard about a bizarre child custody dispute that is unfolding in Michigan. The case made national news when a judge ordered the three children who are the subject of it into juvenile detention for refusing to see their father.
After the case received such media scrutiny, the judge changed the order from juvenile detention, transferring them to summer camp instead. The three children are ages 9, 10 and 14. In the case, the mother has claimed the father abused the 10-year-old, an accusation the father disputes. The father, in turn, has claimed that the mother has a history of mental health problems and that she has acted in ways to alienate his children from him.
The case is in the news again as the father has now filed a motion seeking full custody of all three children. He is requesting that the mother only receive supervised visitation until she receives mental health treatment. Experts indicate that the father is unlikely to be granted full custody, but the motion may lead the court to take a more careful look at why the children are refusing to see their father.
Child custody disputes are often highly emotional and filled with conflict. It is important for parents to keep in mind that the most important consideration in such cases is the best interest of their child. Courts generally do not like when one parent takes action to alienate children from the other parent. Judges believe that children most often benefit by having liberal contact with both parents, unless such contact would place them in danger. People who are in this type of a situation may want to seek the help of a family law attorney, especially if they suspect the other parent is using undue influence to alienate the children from them.
Source: Yahoo, “Dad battling for custody of kids who were locked up for refusing to see him,” Beth Greenfield, July 17, 2015