Photo of Karen Lavin

A custody case in McLean County has reached national news because of its twists and turns. Normally, custody cases are kept quiet unless parents do something that makes them newsworthy, like in this case.

Normally, when two parents both want custody, the judge has to think carefully about what would be in the child’s best interests. In this case, the child’s mother and father both have criminal records. The 4-year-old child has been caught in the middle of a custody dispute that has become bitter.

The child’s mother regained physical custody after convincing a judge that she was making changes in her life. She’d previously pleaded guilty to felony drug charges. Judges usually try not to separate mothers and their children, even when prison time is involved, which may be a factor in this case.

However, in 2014, the boy’s father became unhappy and attempted to obtain custody. He took the boy in March 2017 and went to his home in Massachusetts. He did not have permission from the court.

Now, if he wants to take his custody case to court, he’ll face contempt charges. He was arrested in October 2018, and the child was returned to his mother.

No custody case is easy, but in this one, both parents have taken steps that the court frowns upon. It’s important for parents to be responsible and to respect each other. Violating child custody orders or committing crimes can threaten your right to custody and your relationship with your child. At the end of the day, that’s not worth the risk.