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Custody battle lasting 2 years strains father/son relationship

For many children, their father is just as important as their mother. Whether their parents live together or not, both can play positive roles in a child’s upbringing. The only condition is that they are willing and suitable parents. In Texas, child custody laws aim to establish arrangements that are in the best interests of the child. However, sometimes this can be extremely difficult to ascertain.

In New Mexico, one such dispute may have cost a father his relationship with his two sons. The whole saga began with the death of the boys’ mother in 2012 following a battle with cancer. During their mother’s illness, the boys had been cared for by the close-knit community of Grady, where they lived. They still saw their father, visiting him in Texas during their vacations. 

When the mother died, the father made plans to take the boys back with him to Texas after the mother’s funeral. However, it was not to be. The boys’ deceased mother reportedly had wanted her sons to stay in Grady if they wished to, and they did. The boys were taken in by a local couple who had cared for them during their mother’s illness. A judge appointed the couple temporary guardians of the boys.

The father contested the decision, seeking custody of his sons, but was initially refused. In the meantime, the judge upgraded the status of the local couple to permanent guardians. It was almost two years before the ruling was overturned, but by then the boys were older and reportedly not so close to their father. It is a complicated case, because the boys’ wishes came into conflict with their father’s when they were already old enough to choose their own guardians.

It is possible that the boys may have been just as happy in either home. However, the case resonates with fathers in Texas, whose own children may be far away and only visit on vacations. If you are unhappy with your custody arrangements, it is important to stand up for your rights. A family law attorney may be able to help you prove your suitability as a parent and increase your chances of securing an arrangement that benefits you and your child.

Source: Albuquerque Journal, "A custody fight gone crazy," Jolene Gutierrez Krueger, April 30, 2014

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