An Illinois man is fighting his ex-wife for child custody of a three-year-old boy. The only problem is that the man has no legal claim over the boy.
The man is a former assistant attorney general for the state of Illinois. He married his wife in 2009 around the same time she was finalizing the adoption of her now three-year-old son. He planned to adopt the little boy, but did not file the proper paperwork before the couple's marriage fell apart. He is now seeking visitation rights and custody.
A judge first ruled against the man, but the case has now gone before an appeals court. The three judges presiding over the case asked the man why he did not file an adoption petition sooner. The man says that he thought he had more time, and that he didn't expect the marriage to end so quickly. One question that has come up more than once in this case, is why the laws should be changed for one man.
It is not clear how this particular case will be settled, but it does raise questions about child custody laws. In this case, the little boy has taken the man's last name. It appears the only thing that is missing is a piece of paper granting the man parental rights.
This case is particularly unique. Often in child custody disputes, two legal guardians are working to sort out child custody matters. However, with any child custody dispute, involving an attorney can prove to be highly beneficial. An attorney can help parents reach an agreement that is fair for everyone involved.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "3-year-old adoptee at center of unusual custody fight," Steve Schmadeke, Jan. 29, 2012