Obesity as California custody issue

Should a child’s weight be considered when courts are deciding a California child custody case? The, perhaps surprising, answer is that there are already precedents on this California child custody issue. With childhood obesity emerging as a major problem nationwide the issue has the potential to come before the courts again. This is an area where an experienced Orange County child custody lawyer can be your most important ally in doing what is best for your kids.

The link between obesity and custody shot to national attention earlier this month with a major story in Time magazine. That article highlighted a couple in Scotland who lost custody of two of their six children after they failed to heed warnings from social service agencies regarding the children’s weight. More importantly for American readers, however, it also cited a case in South Carolina earlier this year where a mother lost custody of her son who, at age 14, weighs 555 lbs.

South Carolina was not, however, the first state whose courts have tackled this issue. A 1998 California child custody case sought to take a 680 lb 13 year old girl away from her mother on the grounds of neglect. The child died before the case could be resolved, but the mother was subsequently charged with misdemeanor child abuse on account of her failure to do something about the girl’s weight.

That California child custody dispute may sound extreme, but in our increasingly health-conscious society is not difficult to imagine similar arguments being made on behalf of kids who weigh far less than five or six hundred pounds. Whichever side of that unfortunate debate you find yourself on, the services of a Los Angeles custody attorney or Orange County custody attorney will prove to be essential for what could prove to be a difficult court battle.

TimeShould parents of Obese kids lose custody?

Children’s VoiceChildhood Obesity: Is it abuse? (note: this link opens a pdf file)