DC COURT OF APPEALS EXPANDING AND REAFFIRMING FATHER’S RIGHT

The DC Court of Appeals in IN RE D.S., K.M., B.S., R.S., T.S. & P.S.; J.M., issued on September 20, 2012, reiterated the legal principles governing placement of children in the custody of their biological parents in a split neglect case.  Here the evidence established that the mother physically neglected the children and removal from her home was warranted, however, the court did not sufficiently consider the biological father and placement of the children with him rather than the shelter care — basis for the Court of Appeals reversal of the case.  The father was willing and able, had sufficient housing and was caring for the children on the weekends. The Court of Appeals cemented through this ruling the father’s statutory constitutional and case-law supported presumption of custody unless proven by clean and convincing evidence to be unfit and not in the best interest of the children.   The presumption is rudimentary: that it is generally both preferable and advantageous to leave a child in his or her own home.  That the biological parents are most suited to care for their children and most likely care for their children better than anyone else. The Court also touched up the best interest of
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Categories: Family Law.