A ruling that was recently handed down by a judge in an out-of-state family law case has received a lot of attention due to the implication that the health status of a parent can play a substantial role in determining which parent will be granted custody. The case involves a divorce and child custody battle between a healthy father and a mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Under the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, judges are permitted to take numerous factors into consideration when determining child custody decisions. Among the relevant factors are the physical and mental health statuses of the parents. However, the court's ultimate purpose is to determine custody matters in accordance with the best interests of the children.
There are obviously a lot of emotions that go into the decision to marry -- and divorce. A young couple recently married soon after the husband, Mr. O., learned that his then girlfriend and mother of their child was diagnosed with cancer. Such news sometimes makes couples feel that the time is now and that a wedding is the right decision, but in this case, the diagnosis that likely led to the May nuptials is now the issue that is tearing the newlyweds apart.