Expanding child custody issues: child obesity now factored in

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Child obesity is a problem increasingly discussed in our schools, in politics and in the news. The discussion and concern is not without reason: the Centers for Disease Control states that 17 percent of children and adolescents are now obese.

Child obesity discussions are expanding in scope, factoring now into some child custody disputes in St. Louis and across the nation.

According to one media outlet, some mothers and fathers in custody disputes are telling family law judges that their soon-to-be ex-spouse is unfit to have child custody because he or she makes poor nutrition choices that can negatively impact a child’s weight.

The evidence being pointed to in courtrooms ranges from overweight children to parents accused of being too obese to properly function as a mother or a father.

Testimony is also offered up on bad food choices parents make for their children or allow their kids to make for themselves, ranging from potato chips to candy to cheeseburgers and soft drinks.

One Arizona attorney interviewed for an article on the subject said he’s seeing obesity being raised more frequently in recent years in child custody hearings.

He said one parent typically accuses the other parent of putting a child at risk of medical problems caused by obesity. Parents also tell courts that their children are made fun of at school because they’re overweight.

In one case cited, the child was in the custody of one parent and custody was switched after the court was informed of the child’s endless fast-food diet, school problems and lack of routine medical care.

Could child obesity issues factor into your child custody dispute? Talk over your concerns and options with an experienced child custody attorney who understands the law and knows the courts.

Source: Wall Street Journal: “Obesity Fuels Custody Fights,” Ashby Jones, Shirley S. Wang, Oct. 29, 2011

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