The last post ended with a question about a recent ruling in a Texas family law case. A non-biological father was granted custody of his daughter after a judge decided it was the best decision for the child in the middle of the family dispute. The grandmother believes that because a paternity test proved that Mr. G. is not the father, then the child should be placed with a blood-related relative. But why did the judge rule otherwise?
The judge sided with Mr. G. and his attorney. They argued that Mr. G. had already taken on the responsibilities of a father and had a healthy, stable relationship with the child in the case. In order to best serve the toddler's best interest, therefore, the court placed her with Mr. G. Also adding to the judge's ruling was a text message that Mr. G. had allegedly received from the grandmother before the case went to court.
She reportedly sent him a text that asked for $10,000 in exchange for giving up the child. The message also indicated that the grandmother believed that her daughter (the child's mother) would have wanted Mr. G. to raise his daughter. Even though the grandmother claims that the text message was not from her and that it was a setup, the judge believed she was responsible for the message. He described the grandmother's actions as "... perilously close to selling a child."
At this point, Mr. G. is the custodial parent of the child, and the grandmother has no visitation rights to her granddaughter. Perhaps the latter detail will change, but that depends on whether the grandmother pursues the case further and a court decides that her involvement in the child's life would be a healthy addition to the family arrangement.
Star-Telegram: "Complex child case shines spotlight on paternity law," Melody McDonald, 9 Oct. 2010