When many people envision a custody battle, they likely picture two biological parents going through a divorce, arguing over who gets more time with the children. In Illinois and elsewhere throughout the country, that is not always the case. A child custody dispute can involve other relatives and interested parties. As one recent incident illustrates, it could even involve the government.
A 16-year-old boy has said in a video on Facebook that he wants to go home. He claims that his mother, who worked for 16 years as a hospice nurse, has done nothing wrong in caring for him. However, a Chicago hospital does not see it that way. When the boy’s mother brought him in to seek care for his neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder, hospital officials claimed that she exhibited signs of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a condition in which a parent exaggerates an illness for attention.
The hospital also claimed that the mother interfered with medical care for the boy by insisting on giving him a powerful sedative and moving her son around hospitals. As a result, hospital staff referred the case to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and the boy is now in foster care in Chicago. A custody hearing was expected to resume in early July.
Many custody disputes are not clear-cut and require the attention of an attorney who understands the state’s laws. Parents and guardians should take into account what is in the best interest of the child, and a lawyer can help ensure that the agreement reflects that sentiment.
Source: KMBC, “Custody dispute continues over Isaiah Rider,” Matt DeSarle, June 25, 2014