Tuesday, December 18, 2012

High court hears custody case

The US Supreme Court is hearing a child custody case tomorrow:
The case of Chafin v. Chafin will be heard by the justices on Wednesday and an eventual ruling could establish an important precedent on the discretion of American courts to decide where children caught in parental fights should stay.

In the middle is Eris, the girl who lives in Scotland with her mother. Her dad is an Army sergeant based at Ft. Stewart, Georgia.

A federal court said under international treaty, Eris should remain overseas since it was her "habitual residence." That court also said the custody issue was moot since the girl was already overseas.

Jeff Chafin eventually asked the justices to intervene on his behalf.

"I don't believe that (the current legal fight) is in the best interest of the child as it's going to go on for years and years to come," Lynne Chafin told CNN.
The problem here is that a federal judge let the mom take the girl to Scotland, where the couple has never lived. I don't know how the habitual residence can be Scotland, if they never lived there.

The dad's problem is that he has been moved around with his military obligations, so the mom is seen as the primary parent. However, I think that it is wrong to hold that against him, and say that he will have little or no contact with his daughter because he is an army sergeant.

The federal courts hate these family court issues, and is hearing this only because it interprets an international treaty. However these child custody issues involve much more important and fundamental rights than same-sex marriage. There is some evidence that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was caused in part by a crazy mom getting child custody, a house, and alimony in a divorce. Adam Lanza desperately needed a dad, but a bad family court decision blocked him from his dad.

2 comments:

lisa said...

just to clarity, the child did live in scotland with the mother for more than a year when the father was overseas in afghanistand and other places doing army work.

Also, SCOTUS is not making a custody decision, all they are doing is deciding if the appeal is moot and the case here in the US finishe dor not. SCOTUS is unconcerned with whether the Hague ruling was correct or not at this time.

George said...

Thanks. Someday the court will have to decide whether parents have a constitutional right to their kids. But they avoid the issue as much as possible.