The Hands that Hold the Child

Bruce K Pruitt-Hamm

Case Conclusion Date:January 1, 2012

Practice Area:Child Custody

Outcome:Successful

Description:It is said that “the hands that hold the child hold tomorrow’s human harvest.” In this case, our client, a middle-aged man, came to us only a few years after the birth of his son to a woman not his wife who had subsequently become addicted. Ironically, he came first to inquire about defending himself against her fabricated charges of domestic violence. But that was just the beginning of the story. His primary concern all along was the welfare of his toddler son. After consulting on the domestic violence matter and helping him to successfully defend we turned our attention to establishing him as the primary parent of the child when Child Protective Services began investigating. CPS recommended the child be placed with the father because the mother was too unstable and still too drug addicted. Without hostility and with the heavy burden born of the dilemma of loving your child and also loving that child’s parent, our client took a firm stand to ensure that the mother sought and obtained treatment. Tragically, after we succeeded in obtaining a temporary parenting plan he died from a sudden heart attack. The child was again at risk since now the mother had superior legal rights of custody. Our client’s former wife and mother to the child’s half sibling stepped in with her new husband to courageously take the place of the now deceased father. We were able to successfully negotiate for them a Nonparental Custody Decree granting full legal rights to them for the care and custody of the child. Further, they were appointed to probate the deceased father’s estate for the benefit of the child. Through it all, this young boy was oblivious to the legal maneuvers that were necessary to keep his life intact and to keep him safe, providing the legal “hands that hold the child.”

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