Jane-Ashley McMillan, Attorney at Law

Father struggled for years to prove medical abuse of son

When an unmarried couple has a child together, one parent often takes full custody. The other parent may have partial custody or visitation rights. The other parent usually must pay child support as well.

In a Fort Worth case, a father overpaying child support tried for years to prove his son was a victim of medical abuse. His case shows how courts can often look unfavorably on fathers who don’t have custody.

A struggle to prove medical abuse

In the case, an unmarried couple had a child. When the woman took custody of the child, she started to constantly take the son to doctors, insisting that he was terminally ill. She even had a feeding tube put in. Since the mother had sole custody of the child, his father would often only hear about the issues second hand. And when he and his family looked closer in to the issues, they couldn’t find any real proof of medical issues.

With the claim of medical issues, a judge ordered that the man must pay more than the standard amount of child support. And when the man appealed the decision, saying his child was healthy, multiple judges sided with the mother. They even terminated his visitation rights due to the supposed ill health of the child. It took multiple tries to prove that the mother was medically abusing her healthy son.

Fathers struggle in family court

Fathers often have a more difficult time when dealing with family courts. Judges tend to rule more favorably for a single mother with custody. But in some cases, this can be detrimental to the child. Even though he was appealing to pay less child support, the father only had his son’s best intentions in mind.

While this case is extreme, it shows how good fathers can struggle to receive fair treatment in family court.

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