Child Obesity and Custody Issues

According to a recent news report, parents are increasingly arguing the issue of child obesity in child custody cases. In many states, including Florida, family courts are often burdened with deciding the rights of parents following a divorce. Couples should figure these terms out on their own, but the court may, in some instances, have to make the decision for them. In Jacksonville the court makes this decision based on the best interest of the child standard and considers arguments from both sides as to which parent should get which rights.

Parents are generally free to offer any sort of evidence (provided it complies with the rules of evidence) for the court to consider, and some parents are beginning to argue that the other parent has contributed to the child’s obesity. They can show this in any number of ways; for example, by referencing the child’s weight, by showing the sort of diet the other parent provides the child, or showing the other parent lets the child sit inside to play video games all day. For example, one case from Oregon saw a judge limit rights of a parent who was providing fast-food meals to the child for nearly every single meal.

It is important to note that a child’s obesity is just one factor the court might consider. But if a child’s parent is encouraging unhealthy behavior, there are likely other issues to consider as well. If you are going through a child custody case or a divorce, contact a Florida Family Law Attorney to discuss your case.

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