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Child custody case commences amidst murder investigation

Under the best of circumstances, divorce and other family law issues can be stressful and unpleasant. And in other cases they can be nothing short of hostile. Many Illinois families are forced to contend with serious child custody issues every year, and some of those cases result in violence. The best interests of the child at the heart of one high-profile dispute are being considered by a family law court at the same time as the tragic death of her father is being investigated.

The case began with a divorced couple in Texas that had reportedly been involved in a child custody dispute over their young daughter for some time. The father of the little girl had filed complaints against the parents of his ex-wife in the fall of 2013, claiming that his daughter’s maternal grandfather had acted violently toward him and made threats on his life. While the little girl’s father attempted to modify the custody agreement as a result of the alleged altercation, authorities didn’t take any action against the child’s grandparents.

In January of this year, the child’s father and his wife were allegedly leaving after a supervised visit with his daughter at a church when they were shot multiple times. The murder investigation is underway, and some suspect that the original child custody dispute may have played a role in the violent crime.

Now, another custody dispute is being tried in court over whether or not the four-year-old girl should be placed in the custody of her maternal grandparents or remain in the care of Child Protective Services (CPS), since CPS removed her from her grandparents’ home. While an initial hearing was held, the custody trial was moved to a later date.

Source:, “Judge grants continuance in Tyler Co. child custody hearing,” Michelle Reed, Feb. 5, 2014

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Johnson, Johnson, & NolanAttorneys At Law

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