Father gets custody of children after proving he is a fit parent

After a long custody battle to get his 10-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son, a father has finally been reunited with his two children. The man's custody rights saga began sometime in 2007 when he was still married and living in Florida. However, shortly after his now 8-year-old son was diagnosed with a genetic blood disorder, his marriage started to fall apart.

The man left Florida and even though he occasionally got updates about his children, he lost touch with them. As a father, the man got concerned and called the child abuse hotline in Florida to check on them. A home visit was conducted and social workers informed him that the children were fine. However, two weeks later, authorities in FL contacted him to let him know that the mother of his children and her boyfriend were arrested on drug and domestic violence charges. Even though he was the next-of-kin and biological father of the children, instead of placing the children with him, they were placed in foster care.

Before he could get custody of the children, the long and slow process of showing and proving to authorities that he was fit parent began. Apparently, the mother told judge in the case that the children did not want anything do with their father. Nevertheless, after the first custody hearing sometime in March 2010, after almost a year, the man saw his children. However, the children were still in foster care.

In 2011, the children were allowed to move in with their father, but he had to remain in FL so that Child Protective Services could conduct probationary check-ups. Finally, in 2012 the father and his children were permitted to leave the state of Florida.

Every family situation and circumstance is different. However, fathers involved in a custody disputes should take all steps necessary to ensure they understand their legal rights and options.

Source: The Spokesman-Review, "Father wins custody of daughter, terminally ill son," Pia Hallenberg, June 13, 2013

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