It’s no surprise that child custody cases can be heated. When parents are unable to come to an agreement about parenting time, child support and related issues, it falls to the court to define those matters. Though the majority of child custody cases are settled out of court before reaching trial, some disputes must be resolved by

One issue raised this week was that Raymond didn’t get his visitation time with the couple’s two children immediately after Foster’s son’s death. Though missed visitation is serious and is frowned upon by family court judges, extenuating circumstances do occur. It seems unlikely that missed visits during this kind of situation will be a serious problem for Foster’s case. However, the judge will evaluate how well she has adhered to the parenting schedule and if missed visits are a frequent occurrence.

Raymond, who is seeking sole custody of the two children, has alleged that Foster stole diapers when she was a 19-year-old single mother, and because of that and other behavior is not a fit guardian. Foster admitted to this allegation on the stand, saying that it was wrong and she will not do it again.

Though past behavior certainly can be a factor in a judge’s custody decision, usually current behavior is scrutinized more closely, particularly behavior that occurs in the presence of the children. Regardless of the circumstances of a child custody case, each side needs a qualified family law attorney to ensure the best possible outcome for the children and the parents.

Source: AJC, “Usher, ex-wife resume custody fight,” Aug. 14, 2012