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Child custody debated after boy locked out of home all night

A San Antonio, Texas mother's custody of her 7-year-old son is now under review after witnesses say she locked the boy out of her home. That sparked a large-scale search for him last Friday. The mother says that the boy left the home around 2:20 a.m. after she told him to turn the television off and go to sleep; however, a witness contradicts that version and says that the mother locked the boy out of the house at around 1:30 a.m. That same witness also said that the boy threw rocks at the house in an attempt to get his mother to let him back inside.

A neighbor eventually called police at the mother's behest. They arrived at approximately 3:00 a.m. and found the mother "highly intoxicated". A large-scale search of the area commenced, including helicopters, dogs and all-terrain vehicles. The search was ultimately halted after a neighbor who lives a few blocks away returned the boy to his home at around 11:30 a.m. He had been outside all night.

Youth Services took immediate custody of the boy and according to police, Child Protective Service was called in to develop a safe plan for him. The police handcuffed the mother and took her in for questioning, yet have not yet filed charges. The woman has a history of substance abuse and is currently on felony probation for drunk driving with a child in the vehicle.

In a perfect world, a mother would always act in the best interests of her child. As this case shows, that may not always be the case. Relatives say that the mother has had trouble with substance abuse in the past, yet has always managed to maintain child custody. Several of the boy's relatives say that they hope the authorities would grant them custody of the boy instead. Those relatives need to know that there are legal means available to accomplish that goal. If you have a family member who is not always acting in the best interests of their children, then you may want to consult an expert in family law to discover if there are ways for you to help.

Source: mysanantonio.com, "San Antonio boy missing all night found safe" ALIA MALIK, Apr. 18, 2014

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