Thursday, April 23, 2009

Child Custody Texas: Splitting the Kids

I ran across An Unusual Case of Splitting Custody of Siblings at North Texas Family Law Blog. My first thought about the case was that it sounded like one of those horrors every family law attorney has seen once too many times. Hints of parental alienation syndrome also came to mind:

"Although the testimony at trial was conflicting, much of it concerned the mother's state of mind. The court of appeals observed:
The trial court heard evidence that all three children were harmed by their mother's paranoid delusions and by her practice of speaking ill of the father in front of the children. . . . The trial court also heard testimony from [the youngest child's] therapist that [the youngest child] needed to be immediately removed from the continuing allegations that permeated his mother's home."
My Indiana readers may wonder what this has to do with Indiana law. It appears that the Texas appellate courts do as Indiana's appellate courts do in deferring to trial courts on factual issues:
The court of appeals affirmed the trial court's decision that the father should have custody of the youngest child and the mother custody of the older two children:

Based on the evidence before it, the trial court could have reasonably concluded that [the youngest child] would face future emotional danger if he continued to live with his mother and siblings whereas [the older children] would face future emotional danger if they were removed from their mother's care, and that the only way to serve the best interests of all three children was to separate them. Therefore, we conclude that the trial court could have found clear and compelling reasons to separate the children and we overrule [the mother's] first point of error.

Many years ago I had a judge divide the children between their parents. The boys went to father and the girls to their mother. As I recall, the CASA worker made a recommendation against my client. The judge did what he wanted to do. We had were in no position to appeal but I doubt the judge would have been reversed.

Remember, if you want more information about retaining me for a case, please give me a call at 765-641-7906.

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