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Guardianship dispute turns contentious

The mother of two boys died in 2012. The two boys had been living in Texas but then moved out-of-state with their mother when she divorced their father.

The mother's dying wish was that the boys remain in the town in which they moved. Two individuals from the community had taken the boys in while their mother went through cancer treatment, and these individuals then sought to become the legal guardians of the children after the mother of the boys died.

However, while this couple had themselves appointed as temporary guardian, the biological father of the two boys wished to take them back to Texas. The father's fitness to be a parent was never questioned. He immediately filed a motion to dismiss the guardianship and motioned to have the children returned to him. Instead an out-of-state district judge ordered that the guardianship be made permanent.

As the children were over the age of 14, the courts allow for them to nominate who their guardians will be. The courts will weigh their wishes. In the meantime, the father's attorney stated that parents do have the right to make decisions on what they feel is best for their children. Eventually an appeals court overruled the lower court's decision and the guardianship was dissolved.

Unfortunately, this was an example of how family law disputes can turn contentious. Apparently the dispute has caused bad feelings between one of the sons and his father. 

When all parties involved take into consideration the best interests of the children, frictions between all parties can be reduced. This can mean open communication between parties and an understanding of why guardianship and child custody laws are in place.

Source: Albuquerque Journal, "A custody fight gone crazy," Joline Gutierrez Krueger, April 30, 2014

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