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Parent’s Health Takes Center Stage in Custody Battle, Ruling

On Behalf of | May 17, 2011 | Child Custody

A lot of people nationwide have taken interest in a child custody ruling issued recently by a North Carolina judge.

And in the age of exploding technology, that means, truly, a lot of people, who are accessing and responding to the story in various ways.

The mother in the case, who was denied primary custody of her two children, is an active catalyst in propelling the public’s interest. She has many thousands of fans on her Facebook page. She writes a blog about what has happened to her in court. Tweeters side with her, and an online petition to the state’s governor asking him to reverse the decision already has 75,000 signatures.

The woman has cancer – serious cancer, known as stage four breast cancer – that is presently stable and being closely monitored by doctors. Court documents point to a number of factors at work in the custody dispute, including infidelity and abuse, but the cancer appears most decidedly to be the main issue in the case. The judge referred to it often in her ruling, stating that, “Children want a normal childhood, and it is not normal with an ill parent.”

Primary custody was awarded the father, who lives and works in Chicago, with the mother continuing to live in Durham.

The mother says it is unfair to base custody on her health, and various legal and medical experts have questioned the idea that normality in a child’s life must equate to established good heath in a parent.

The ruling requires the children to move to Chicago this June. The woman is currently raising money for an appeal.

Related Resource: Los Angeles Times, “Mom with breast cancer denied custody of kids” May 13, 2011