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Michigan child custody battle ends in tragedy

When a marriage ends, some battles continue. Child custody disputes are among those that can drag on months or years beyond the signing of the divorce papers. They become even more complicated when the parents live in different states. One custody battle reached its resolution in a tragic manner for a Michigan father.

The man and his ex-wife had been fighting for custody of their children for three years, soon after the mother moved with the three children from Michigan to another state. She then began lodging complaints against the childrens' father, alleging abuse and violence. No charges against the man were ever filed, and investigation of the accusations revealed no evidence of abuse. Nevertheless, the woman obtained a permanent order of protection from her ex-husband. Contention between the parents intensified when the state where the mother lives requested child support from the father.

Soon after the appeal for child support, the father filed for full custody in Michigan. Although he was granted custody, a judge in the state where the children were living rejected the decision and even denied visitation rights to the man. The judges were still in disagreement on the night when the mother drove eight children -- after allegedly drinking heavily -- and crashed her SUV. Two of her children died, and six other children were injured.

The courts have now granted the Michigan father custody of the surviving child and the bodies of his two sons. This case exemplifies how complicated child custody cases can be. When parents face allegations and accusations, it is common for one's rights to be denied. Having a dedicated attorney by one's side is helpful when navigating the turbulent waters of family law.

Source:, "Two courts, two different custody decisions", Anne Schindler, Oct. 27, 2016

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