Back in September we discussed a Minnesota child custody case that pitted two sets of grandparents against each other over who would take care of their orphaned granddaughter. The girl, who is two years old, lost both of her teenaged parents in a 2011 murder-suicide.
The bitter child custody battle went to trial in August of last year. The judge, Wally Senyk of Fergus Falls took four months to decide the case, likely weighing the options carefully to ensure the child receives the best care possible.
The girl had been under the care of her paternal grandparents since her parents' death, with her maternal grandmother having visitation rights, During the trial, allegations of mental health issues and drug abuse, including problems with meth, were brought against her mother's mother.
Last week Judge Senyk handed down his ruling in the case. The result is that both sides of the family will play a part in the child's life and upbringing. Her father's parents will retain physical and legal custody, while her maternal grandmother will have her one weekend a month.
However, overnight visits will not begin until the child turns three and her grandmother must undergo a chemical use assessment and get treatment if necessary.
If you are engaged in a dispute over child custody or visitation, whether you are a parent or an interested third party, the stakes are high. It is essential to work with an experienced family law attorney who can understand your family's unique situation, tell your story in court and work toward the fairest outcome for you and your loved ones.
Source: WDAY, "Ongoing custody battle from murder-suicide ends with a decision," Jan. 2, 2013
Our firm handles a wide range of family law matters, including disputes over custody and parenting time. To learn more about child custody determinations and grandparents' rights, visit our Child Custody and Visitation page.