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Los Angeles Child Visitation Case Raises Complex Interstate Issues

It is difficult to imagine a more tragic situation – a mother suffering irreversible brain damage while giving birth to triplets. Compounding the tragedy, four years later the mother’s extended family is in California family court arguing over issues of visitation.

As detailed in a report by KTLA, Abbie Dorn was healthy and happy when she went into the hospital to have her babies in 2007. “During delivery, Abbie began bleeding and went into cardiac arrest starving her brain of oxygen.” As a result, the TV station reports, she has remained “in a minimally conscious state” and has not seen her babies, now 4-year olds, since they were toddlers.

The stricken mother is cared for in South Carolina by her parents, her treatment and living expenses paid from the proceeds of a multi-million dollar medical malpractice lawsuit. Her former husband (he divorced her a year after the accident) and the children live here in Southern California. The father has been fighting attempts by the grandparents to arrange visits with the stricken mother. Recently, however, a Los Angeles family court ruled in the grandparents favor: the children will now spend five days per year with their mother and will see her once a month via a computer video link.

The father has sought to block the visits, believing they are not in the children’s best interests and has offered only to consider visits at some unspecified future time “if he receives medical evidence that she will be able to communicate with them.” He has also filed papers seeking child support from Abbie’s estate.

Viewed from afar one may ask why it was that the father and the grandparents were not able to solve their issues without going to court. The fact that they could not do so is a reminder of the important role Orange County family law attorneys play in our legal system when family members are unable to work out California visitation and child support issues among themselves. Of course, in so emotional a situation it is important to note that any amicable agreement reached without the help of attorneys should probably be formalized and made legal and official to protect the interests of everyone involved. In this way, a Los Angeles or Orange County visitation lawyer can serve as a source of legal advice and expertise, to ensure that everything is done properly and according to law even in emotionally difficult proceedings.

KTLA.com: Quadriplegic Mother Granted Visitation Rights

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