According to widely publicized reports, Usher's ex-wife, Tameka Foster Raymond, filed an emergency custody motion with an Atlanta court seeking temporary custody of the couple's two children after their son almost drowned in a swimming pool. Just last year, Usher won primary custody of the kids after a bitter court dispute during which Foster Raymond made accusations that Usher was an absentee father. This past May, Foster Raymond filed for a custody modification, which had not been heard by the court prior to the swimming pool accident.
Parents who face child custody issues typically bring their case before a local family court. Anyone going through a custody dispute is encouraged to contact a local San Diego family law attorney who will work to achieve the best possible outcome for your family under the circumstances.
Despite the fact that Usher's five year-old son almost drowned while in the care of his aunt (at the direction of Usher), the court ruled that it did not amount to an emergency or crisis situation requiring that his two children be taken from him. The judge characterized the incident as "an awful accident," adding that no one person could have handled the situation better. The judge described the aunt as "a capable caregiver." In addition to this ruling, the court advised Usher to keep his ex-wife informed about his whereabouts and who is taking care of their children.
There are many factors to consider in any child custody case, especially one that involves a request for modification or an emergency custody motion. Under California procedure, once a judge issues a custody and visitation order, one or both parents may seek to alter the arrangement for various reasons. If both parents agree to the change, they may do so by changing the court order through an agreement. But if they cannot agree, one parent will be required to file papers with the court requesting a change (known as a "modification") of the current child custody order.
In order to modify a custody order, one must show that there has been a "change in circumstances" since the final order was rendered. Essentially, this would mean that there has been a significant change requiring a new custody and visitation arrangement in order to serve the best interests of the children. It is considered best for children to have consistent and stable child custody arrangements.
It is unclear whether Foster Raymond will have any success in her efforts to modify the custody order in Atlanta. We do know, however, that her emergency motion for temporary custody failed. Although this case did not take place in the San Diego court system, in most states, child custody orders will only be modified if the change would be in the best interests of the children. In any child custody proceeding, an experienced family law attorney who is familiar with the local rules and procedures will be able to provide the best possible approach to your family's case.
Thomas Huguenor is a family law attorney certified by the State of California. For more than 35 years, he has represented people in San Diego with child custody and visitation matters. Contact us today online or at (858) 458-9500 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
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