Child custody disputes in Georgia and elsewhere can take unusual twists and turns. Take the case of an Oregon woman who married a marine fighter pilot in 1995. The couple later had two sons. The pair later divorced in 2004, agreeing to split child custody. One boy was to live with the father in Washington and the other with the mother in Oregon. The boys are now teenagers.

The mother says she just learned this year the father had remarried his first wife, from whom he was divorced in 1991. The problem is that the first wife killed her own two children by shooting them in Orange County in 1991. The victims were 4 and 8-years-old. She was later found not guilty by reason of insanity and spent many years under psychiatric supervision, and was ultimately granted an unconditional release by the California Hospital System in 2005. It was determined she no longer posed any risk.

However, the mother of the teenage boys does not see it like that and moved to change the parenting plan under the child custody agreement. A hearing was held before an Oregon family law commissioner, who sided with the father. He held that, whether or not the mother knew about it, the father and his first wife had been back together for a long time without any incidents involving the boys. The mother appealed that ruling to King County Superior Court, where a hearing occurred late last month.

The Superior Court judge later authorized an investigation by a court-appointed independent guardian to determine if the boys have been harmed, either by the father's wife or the mother's "media campaign" in the custody case. The matter was continued for 90 days with the same custody arrangement. However, the father was ordered to make certain there were no guns in the house and that his wife was taking any required medications.

It remains to be seen what will happen in this child custody dispute. The issues are not always easy, and often courts need to make difficult decisions when the parties are not able to come to an agreement. Other times, there is simply too great a difference for an agreement to be reached. In Georgia an attorney experienced in child custody matters may help achieve the correct result.

Source: ajc.com, "Custody dispute involves woman who killed her kids," Gene Johnson, Aug. 25, 2011