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Who has the right to make decisions about a child's guardianship -- a judge or the parent with full custody rights?
June 20 at 9:14 AM

Military Dad Forced to Give Away Daughter When He's Deployed

by Lisa Fogarty

A military dad who is currently deployed on a submarine in the Pacific Ocean has reportedly been ordered by a judge to turn his 6-year-old daughter, for whom he has custody, over to her mother while he's away -- or else.

Navy submariner Matthew Hindes has been ordered by a judge to attend a mandatory court hearing in Michigan next week or face contempt, even though he's miles away and it's obviously not going to be possible for him to return for a court appearance.

Hindes, who was granted full custody of 6-year-old Kaylee, left her in his current wife's care while he was away and argues that the best place for his child is with her stepmom Benita-lynn Hindes at their home in Washington. Despite the fact that Hindes insists Kaylee was taken away from her biological mom Angela by Child Services for neglect, the court is holding firm that the little girl belongs with her mother while dad is deployed overseas.

Angela Hindes has appealed Child Protective Services' decision to take her child away from her and maintains that she deserves the right to care for Kaylee in Matthew's absence. And Lenawee County Circuit Judge Margaret M.S. Noe agrees with her. Noe has even threatened to enter a bench warrant for Hindes' arrest if he doesn't appear in court.

Benita-lynn says she plans to travel to Michigan with Kaylee to attend the hearing, but she's worried that Kaylee could be taken from her before she has a chance to say a proper "good-bye" to her father.

My emotional side immediately sees the words "child protective services" and thinks: this judge is making the wrong call and Kaylee should absolutely stay with her stepmom. But, let's be fair, we don't have any idea what went on in Angela's home or why Kaylee was really taken away from her. And that isn't the point, is it?

A judge truly believed that Matthew should have full custody over Kaylee and that he should be in charge of making decisions for her. Wouldn't it then make sense to grant that parent the right to decide who should take care of the child while he or she is away?

A parent who is constantly with his child knows his or her needs far better than a judge who is making decisions based on what makes logical sense. There is, of course, something to be said for doing things in a fair and just manner, but in this case, it doesn't add up. Why would you grant custody to the parent who lost custody of her child simply because the parent with full custody is away serving his country -- doing his job? Hindes and all parents who have custody of their children should have the right to make the final call on who has guardianship of their child while they are away.

Who do you think has the right to make decisions about a child's guardianship -- a judge or the parent with full custody rights? 

 

Image via Facebook

Replies

  • Billiejeens
    June 20 at 9:28 AM

    We are a collective now.

    That whole individual rights thing - especially parental rights,

    That's old school thinking - we new school now.

  • bluerooffarm
    June 20 at 10:08 AM

    Until the appeal for the revocation of the Protective Order is finalized granting the mother some custody rights, the child should stay with her step-mom.  Since the father wasn't simply given custody by a divorce court, why is this even an option for this judge?

  • Debrowsky
    June 20 at 10:11 AM

    The parent who has custody of the child- they are responsible.

  • Bird_on_a_wire
    June 20 at 11:46 AM

    In this case the father has the right to say where his daughter goes.  In the military he would have had a family care plan in action for his deployment which outlines the care his child is to receive and by who she is to get the care.  

    This judge is absolutely ridiculous and I hope to see some action taken against him.

  • MsDenuninani
    June 20 at 11:55 AM

    I'm baffled by this.

    According to the story embedded, the father has had custody for four years, which means that the daughter has a relationship with the step-mother for four years now.  Disrupting that seems nuts.  And doing so while he is deployed definitely seems like a violation of federal law -- at minimum, he should have a court-appointed attorney.

    Either some detail is seriously missing, or this judge needs a serious rebuke.  This is really disruptive to that girl's life.

  • Ms.KitKat
    June 20 at 12:07 PM

    First we must ask- why is this matter even before a judge in the first place?

    How were the courts to even know about this matter? The Court does not make a habit of butting into other's lives - unless of course it is asked to do so.

    The article does not detail how the Courts became involved. My guess- bmom brought the case forward upon learning that smom was granted guardianship because bdad is deployed. The end result being, the child is caught in the middle and will have to pay the ultimate price.

    Of course, justice is blind. Logic would be, the parent who has full legal custody would be best to determine the ideal living arrangements for his/her child and the fact bdad did not choose bmom speaks volumes. But like I said, justice is blind, sometimes. This father needs a really good lawyer.

  • Debrowsky
    June 20 at 12:32 PM


    Quoting Ms.KitKat:

    First we must ask- why is this matter even before a judge in the first place?

    How were the courts to even know about this matter? The Court does not make a habit of butting into other's lives - unless of course it is asked to do so.

    The article does not detail how the Courts became involved. My guess- bmom brought the case forward upon learning that smom was granted guardianship because bdad is deployed. The end result being, the child is caught in the middle and will have to pay the ultimate price.

    Of course, justice is blind. Logic would be, the parent who has full legal custody would be best to determine the ideal living arrangements for his/her child and the fact bdad did not choose bmom speaks volumes. But like I said, justice is blind, sometimes. This father needs a really good lawyer.

    Those were my thoughts too as I was reading through it.

  • Bonita131
    June 23 at 4:00 AM

    Stupidity at it's finest. It leaves you wondering just how competent these judges really are. If the child is neglected or harmed by her mother, the judge should be put behind bars for being the cause.

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