In Illinois, child custody cases can be very emotional for both sides who are trying to obtain custody of their children, even without a personal tragedy to contend with. Many times, parents want to help out their children in the greatest way possible and they can be feelings can be stirred up when they feel like they are not helping out their children enough. However, for two families who are struggling to gain child custody of a baby girl who was orphaned after a tragic murder-suicide, the child custody battle is filled with even more emotion for everyone involved.
The families never wanted to be at odds with each other to begin with. They originally did their best to support the teenage parents of the child. However, in a horrific event, the father, a 17-year-old boy, killed his 16-year-old girlfriend and then killed himself. Now, the families are struggling to cope, both with the loss of their two children as well as who should take custody of the young child that was left behind.
As can be imagined, many harsh feelings have been raised by this case. The father's parents have spent a significant portion of time caring for their grandchild, though the mother's parents have visitation. However, the father's parents have pointed out that many times the maternal grandmother would often cancel visits. Furthermore, the father's parents claimed that there was a history of drug abuse and mental health issues that might make the maternal grandmother unfit to raise the child.
The maternal grandmother still hasn't presented her side of the story, and will do so shortly so that the court may be able to see both sides of the story. In the meantime, the judge promises to do his best to arrange for the best possible outcome for the child. In the end, finally, Illinois parents who are seeking child custody should remember that, no matter what happens, the best interests of the child should be considered first and foremost, even in these difficult situations that may occur.
Source: WDAY-TV, "Bitter custody battle rages to decide fate of baby girl left behind by tragedy," Kevin Wallevand, Aug. 28, 2012