The courts in Massachusetts maintain that they make child custody determinations in the best interest of the child or children. A recent case has put that assertion into the spotlight.
A mother is once again in probate court seeking to deny child custody to her ex-husband, the father of her son. She is charging that he has repeatedly sexually abused his son during a period of five years. The son is now eight years old.
The child custody dispute is not new. Apparently the Cape Cod couple’s child custody dispute dates back to the parents’ divorce.
According to news sources, the father had his custody revoked in 2010 after his semen was found on the boy’s pajamas when the boy returned to his mother’s home after a visit with the father. DNA testing confirmed that the semen was the father’s. Apparently the probate judge did not revoke custody until the DNA evidence was confirmed, despite complaints from several state agencies charged with investigating sexual abuse.
The current child custody case is pitting the mother against the father. The boy has his own attorney, presumably appointed by the court. The father claims that his son is being poisoned against him by the mother and her agents. The mother claims that the father has been sexually assaulting her son for years.
The probate judge has determined that the 8-year-old can speak on his own behalf in the presence of his psychiatrist and the judge. Both the mother and the father will be allowed to submit questions that will be asked.
It seems as though this case could become a criminal case as well as a child custody dispute. Sexual assault of a child could put the father on the sexual predators’ list if he is convicted.
Source: “Cape custody case turns ugly,” Steve Doane, June 15, 2012