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How much should the state interfere in child custody matters?

When a couple separates or divorces, it may be necessary to bring in the court to help determine with which parent the children will primarily live, when and how much visitation the other parent will have and other matters. Even though Kentucky parents in this position may not be fully satisfied with the child custody decisions made by the court, they asked for the court to make the ruling. So, at what point does the state's intervention in a family's lives cross the line?

Recently, officials in another state determined that a couple simply was not smart enough to raise their children. The state uses the fact that the mother, whose IQ is said to be 72, did not realize that she was pregnant nor in labor. She is not the only woman to ever experience this. The IQ of the father of her children is reportedly 66, and he receives Social Security disability benefits. A "normal" range for the average IQ here in the United States is between 90 and 110.

Many people came forward to stand up for the couple. They said that nothing indicates the children are in harm's way or that their parents are not protecting their best interests. Family members are divided regarding whether the couple should have custody of their children. Even so, Oregon officials put the children in foster care.

Sadly, the laws in many states still consider intelligence to be a predictor of whether an individual will be a good parent. When it comes to child custody matters, Kentucky courts are bound to consider what will be in the best interests of the children. However, they should consider the totality of the circumstances and not just one factor when making decisions -- unless that factor involves the abuse or neglect of the children.

Source: deseretnews.com, "This couple may have lost custody of their kids because they weren't smart enough", Eric Schulzke, July 31, 2017

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Tasha Scott Schaffner, PLLC - Attorneys at law

505 Centre View Blvd.
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