A recent article in the New York Times lays out the particulars of a custody case currently being heard in Illinois for which a California ruling of a generation ago may provide the key precedent. The family court is being asked to decide custody of a five month old boy whose mother is a quadriplegic. Though the mother, according to the paper, lives with the child’s grandmother and “has a full-time aide and a trained service dog” the boy’s father is claiming her disability renders her an unfit mother.
The California family law connection comes from a 1979 case in which the California Supreme Court “granted a paralyzed father custody of his two sons, despite a lower court’s ruling that the man could not play ball or go fishing with the boys.” Courts, of course, are supposed to rule in accordance with the “best interests” of the child. But, as the article notes, “best interests” is a phrase that can be defined in many ways.
Child custody, whether here in California or elsewhere, is inevitably a difficult and emotional issue. If you believe your spouse or ex-spouse is unreasonably claiming that you are an unfit parent it is important to contact a Southern California child custody lawyer as soon as possible. In Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County and elsewhere in Southern California, custody battles can be lengthy and emotionally draining. A full-service Orange County family law firm can help you plan the best legal strategy in terms of both protecting your parental custody and visitation rights and securing your own assets against unreasonable custody or support claims.
New York Times: Should a Quadriplegic Mom Have Custody?