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Deported Mexican father in child custody dispute

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Arizona residents may be interested to learn of an complicated case that has come before a judge in North Carolina. The case involves a father of three children, ages, 1, 3, and 5. Apparently, he was deported to Mexico two years ago after he was apprehended for some traffic violations. However, the mother retained child custody of the young children. Shortly after his deportation the children's mother lost custody of the children and they were subsequently all placed together in a foster home.

The county officials are pushing to terminate the father and mother's parental rights so that the children can be adopted by their foster family. However, the father is fighting back. He is attempting to secure custody of the children so that they can live with him in Mexico. The living conditions that the children would encounter were they to live in Mexico is a point of dispute between the parties.

Although there do appear to be documented instances of either abuse or neglect in the past, the children were never removed from the home at any time by county officials. As in a divorce, when making any determination regarding child custody, the court will primarily be focusing on what is in the best interests of the children.

Traditionally, courts have been loath to separate a biological parent from their child unless they are presented with convincing evidence that the parent is unfit do to drug or alcohol abuse, or that the parent has been physically or verbally abusive in the past to the child. It is unclear which way the judge will rule in this case, but the case should be watched closely due to its' possible application to future child custody cases.

Source: sfgate.com, "NC judge considers if deported man gets custody," Nov. 20, 2012

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