Child custody disputes can be complex. Georgia residents know that tension
between ex-couples fighting for custody or visitation privileges can escalate.
However, as evidenced by a New Jersey man who recently appeared in national
headlines with his antics in a child custody hearing, that tension can
lead desperate parents to behave in some very odd ways.
The 40-year-old father, the founder of a group named "Hitler's
Order," graced a custody hearing for the visitation of his youngest
son in full Nazi regalia: uniform, swastika and even an Adolf Hitler-style
mustache. Perhaps not surprisingly, the man has been estranged from his
wife for some time. His state's family services assumed protective
custody of his four children after becoming aware of allegations of neglect
The youngest son, to whom the man has requested the court to grant him
visitation rights, was taken from the father just 16 hours after the child's
birth. Through all this, the man denies any wrongdoing, saying that he
only gave the children Nazi-inspired names and is asking the court for
a chance to prove that he is a worthy father.
While the actions of the man are unusual and surprising, Georgia parents
seeking custody of their children need not go to such lengths. Courts
throughout the nation tend to rule in favor of the best interests of the
child. However, in Georgia, if the child is 14 years of age or older,
the child can decide which parent he or she wishes to live with. An exception
to this is if the court has already found the child's chosen parent
to be unfit.
Additionally, courts generally pursue the less disruptive option for the
child. The parent who provides continuity in terms of the child's
needs, such as food, shelter, everyday activities, emotional development
and education, may lead the court to award that parent custody. A Georgia
parent may wish to seek legal advice from an experienced legal professional
to help with the case. The legal professional can offer strong guidance
in demonstrating the provision of continuity for a child, as well as overall