Heymann & Fletcher

Former prostitute regains child custody rights

An unusual case has made headlines in New Jersey and across the nation. A mother of two lost her child custody rights based on her decision to work as a prostitute in a state where such employment is legal. Many parents face challenges to their rights to raise their children, and unfavorable outcomes lead many to pursue the matters in appeals courts.

In this case, the mother and father, who were unmarried, lived together and had two children prior to ending their relationship in 2010. From that point forward, the mother retained primary custody of the children, although they lived with their father approximately one-third of each year. However, when the father learned that his former partner was working at a legal brothel, he took the matter to court.

He was successful, and he gained primary custody of the children. On appeal, however, the mother was able to have her child custody rights restored. The appellate judges found that the lower court had focused more on her chosen profession that on the best interests of the children. The mother explained that she had chosen that line of work to pay down high medical bills and cover expenses while the father was behind on his child support.

The outcome of this case is being heralded as a win for parents who face child custody battles that are based on issues of morality. Many people in New Jersey and elsewhere believe that the best interests of the child should always be the central focus of any custody case. When a court chooses to focus on an issue that has little or no impact on the life of a child, the matter often ends up going before an appellate court.

Source: timesfreepress.com, "Tennessee court gives former prostitute primary custody of her children", Nov. 1, 2016

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