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Child custody: the consequences of abuse allegations (PART 2)

In our last post, we discussed a case of alleged child abuse involving a father who refused to give in to his child’s demands. The circumstances of that incident may directly impact the child custody case in which the child and parents are involved.

Just a week later, the same news source discussed the story of another father who faced child abuse allegations. Although the case does not involve a divorce, it brings to light the importance of scrutinizing any allegations brought against a parent that may impact his or her ability to spend time with their child.

The father in this case ended up taking his infant daughter to a hospital after hearing her hip pop during a routine diaper change. After the 3-month-old was checked by doctors, she was found to have multiple fractures, which the doctors said were not accidental and possibly involved physical abuse. The man’s wife, who learned about these allegations after coming home from a business trip, couldn’t believe it, prompting her to investigate further.

Fortunately, the wife was able to make contact with another couple who had a similar experience. The mother in that case lost custody of her 4-week-old twins after they were found to have fractures. Five month later, the girls were found to have a connective-tissue disorder that makes their bones vulnerable to fractures. With this condition, even a routine diaper change can lead to broken bones.

After learning this information, the first couple’s daughter, as well as the mother herself, was eventually diagnosed with the disorder, and the husband’s case was dismissed.

Thankfully the incident was resolved, but the allegations still had a negative impact. After the allegations surfaced and before the correct diagnosis was made, the wife had to move into her parents’ home with her daughter so she could be supervised at all times. And her husband could only see his baby during visits overseen by a court-appointed supervisor.  

Source:, "Child's Rare Bone Disease Leads to Mistaken Charges Against Dad," Claudine Zap, Nov. 15, 2013.

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