Protecting the best interests of the children is often the most important child custody consideration in New York and countrywide. However, the court's perception of what is best for the children may differ from that of each of the parents. When it is a blended family, a stepparent might also seek to be heard. This is the case in a child custody dispute that might land up in court.
It is the wish of a mother who has apparently been diagnosed with terminal cancer that her two teenage children to be left in the custody of their stepfather in the event of her death. The biological father disagrees and says he has been out of the lives of his children for long enough. The couple reportedly divorced in 2006 when their two kids were 4 and 5 years old. The mother remarried and says that, for the past eight years, her new husband has been the father the children never had.
Apparently the biological father has addiction issues, and the mother asserts that he is unfit to take care of his children. He apparently admits to being dependent on painkillers but denies that this addiction will influence his ability to be a good father. He is adamant to fight for custody of his children, even if it means litigation.
New York parents who find themselves in similar circumstances may want to consult with an experienced child custody attorney. Regardless of whether a person is in the position of this mother or the biological father, a lawyer can assess the circumstances and provide advice about the best way forward. Divorced parents who remarry may want to consider a proactive approach to ensure that the best interests of the children continue to be protected.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Why Two Men Are Fighting Over Custody Of Terminally Ill Woman's Children", Dec. 3, 2015