Determining who should have custody of a child can be very difficult. Often, several individuals step forward seeking to take the child into their own home and to care for her. While these difficulties may arise during a heated divorce proceeding, there are other situations where Child custody issues might come up. One father is dealing with one of those situations now.
In one town, firefighters returned to their stationhouse after an early morning call to find a baby. Someone had voluntarily surrendered the baby by leaving him at the firehouse. With no other options, the firemen called protective services, which sent the child to live in foster care. At an emergency custody hearing, the mother was present to state she could no longer care for the child and therefore chose to give up the baby.
When protective services contacted the baby’s alleged father he claimed interest in obtaining custody of his son. He claims he was not aware the child’s mother was going to give up the child, so he could not prevent her from doing so. The case is on hold while DNA tests are pending, but it is likely in the father’s best interest to obtain legal counsel who will fight for his parental rights.
When a child custody case goes to court, the judge will make the ultimate determination of where the child will be placed. To make that decision, the judge will take several factors into consideration. While each party’s relationship with the child, financial situation, and mental health will be considered, all factors are used to determine which household fosters the best interests of the child. The judge may choose to issue joint custody or sole custody with accompanying visitation rights. In situations like the one above, the parent risks losing his parental rights if he cannot convince a judge he is fit to care for his child.
With his family at stake, a father must find an experienced family law attorney to represent his interest and to argue why he is best suited to care for his child. The attorney can sit with the parent to discuss the child custody process and help develop a legal strategy that works. Then, when all is said and done, the parent can get on with developing a strong, lasting relationship with his child.
Source: ABC News, “Texas Man Fights for Custody of Baby Abandoned at Fire Station,” Christina NG, Aug. 15, 2013