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Unusual child custody case follows tragic accident

The vast majority of custody cases feature very predictable parties. Most often, two parents are unable to reach an agreement on how to divide parenting time after a divorce or breakup, and turn to the courts for help making a determination. In some cases, however, the parties do not conform to the same norm, and these unusual cases often make headlines in Florida and across the nation. An example is found in the case of a man who had to fight for his child custody rights after his partner was killed in a terrible car crash.

The accident took place when the mother was eight months pregnant. While the emergency medical team was able to save the life of the unborn child, the mother died as a result of injuries suffered during the accident. That left the father of the child in grief for his partner and faced with an unusual child custody challenge. The couple lived in a state in which a woman's husband is the presumed father of her children. In this case, the mother was still married to a man from whom she was estranged.

Even though the man had no ongoing relationship with his wife, he was legally the presumed father of her child. That left the biological father faced with no option other than to head to court to secure his parental rights in order to be able to take his child home from the hospital. Fortunately, the estranged husband was cooperative, and the father was able to bring his daughter home.

Had there been a challenge between the parties in this case, a child custody battle might have ensued. In states where a husband is automatically the presumed father of his wife's child, there is always a risk of difficult child custody cases. This is an example of the importance of staying abreast of legal issues when contemplating a move from Florida to another state that may have less favorable laws in place. That is true in regard to many different matters regarding divorce and child custody.  

Source: news.yaho.com, "Man's horror custody battle after pregnant fiancee's tragic death", June 24, 2017

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