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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

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Married or not, custody disputes can be tough

Divorcing couples are not the only parents who struggle with child custody issues. Many children are born to unmarried parents in New Jersey. When that relationship goes sour, the breakup can bring about some very strong arguments over who the custodial parent of the child will be. But that is not always the case. Sometimes, neither parent wants to keep the child. A perfect example of this is showcased in a recent Supreme Court ruling regarding a Native American father and his daughter.

When the mother was pregnant with girl, she and the man were planning to get married. But during the pregnancy, she called the wedding off and he reacted by deciding to stop assisting her with the pregnancy. He paid no child support after she was born, and he didn't even get the chance to meet his daughter before she was taken in by an adoptive family in another state. This upset him because he wanted her to grow up with Native American traditions, so he invoked a federal law known as the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Sometime after she turned 3, the daughter was in the custody of her biological father, having been taken away from the family that planned to adopt her. But the case was appealed and recently, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Indian Child Welfare Act did not apply to this case because the man never had custody of the girl, because he had given up his parental rights before she was even born. Now, the case has been sent back to another court so that a ruling regarding the adoption can be made.

The complex child custody matter here highlights the possibility that any case can turn into quite the complicated mess. In order to keep everything straight and maintain your goals during such a dispute, you should consider speaking with a lawyer.


Source: 
August Chronicle, "US high court sends back to South Carolina child custody case" No author given, Jun. 30, 2013

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