Posted on behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA
People in Maryland may have heard about an intriguing, scandal-laden divorce and child custody dispute that is still raging on after nearly five years and countless legal motions brought by both parties. The case, which is still underway in the Connecticut family court system, took an even more bizarre turn when it was revealed that the mother was arrested in 2012 for allegedly soliciting the murder of her ex-husband, yet she still retains custody of the couple’s 8-year-old daughter.
The girl’s father has come out recently by filing a grievance with a legal oversight board, claiming that the girl’s guardian ad-litem, whose legal responsibility in the matter is to act in the best interests of the child, has neglected her duties by allowing the child to remain in the custody of her mother in light of the shocking allegations against her.
In 2012, a couple months after the murder-for-hire incident, the father petitioned the court for emergency legal custody of his daughter. However, the court rejected the motion without comment. The plot thickened even further when the child’s maternal grandparents filed for custody, but the court has yet to rule on that motion either.
Now the girl is allegedly in the custody of her mother or one or both of the grandparents, and the girl’s father is seeking a reconciliation with the daughter he claims he hasn’t seen since 2011. The father has had issues of his own, including a restraining order violation in 2009 and allegations that he tried to purchase a handgun for $10,000 at a pawn shop. His ex-wife has also filed reports from a psychiatrist showing that he has psychological issues that call into question his fitness as a parent.
In this case it seems the court is stuck between a rock and a hard place, depending on whose story one would believe. In a child custody dispute, the court must carefully weigh the best interests of the child as well as the inherent right of a parent to raise their child. For that reason, people need the help of an experienced family law attorney to make the most compelling case for child custody amid the conflicting reports and harmful allegations that often come from both sides in a child custody dispute.
Source: New York Daily News “Connecticut couple’s bizarre divorce saga takes a twisted turn as mom charged with attempted murder is granted custody of child,” Mar. 6, 2014