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Father may lose parental rights after being cleared of murder

A father naturally wants the right to see his children and spend quality time with them. However, sometimes that right can be threatened. An allegation of domestic violence or other criminal involvement, even if the accusation is later proved untrue, can interfere with a father's rights with respect to custody and other family matters.

This is what is currently happening to one man. While the Family Court battle for his parental rights is taking place outside Georgia, it could just as easily be happening here or anywhere else in the country.

The man was watching his roommate's toddler when the child, who had been sick for some time, died. He was accused of committing child abuse, resulting in the toddler's death. The first criminal trial ended in a hung jury. In the second, he was cleared of all suspicion of wrongdoing.

After he was acquitted, the man returned home, eager to spend time with his family. However, Child Protective Services (CPS) showed up on his doorstep and demanded that he vacate the home. CPS stated that he was not allowed to live with his two daughters until he completed a child abuse course that required him to admit that he was responsible for the toddler's death.

Essentially, the man stands to lose his parental rights if he refuses to admit committing a crime for which he has already been cleared in criminal court. He has stated that he would be happy to take the abuse class, provided he does not need to admit guilt for something he did not do. However, that does not seem to satisfy CPS.

Many people are outraged at the situation. The man's attorneys and jurors from both trials have appeared in Family Court to support him after all he has endured.

Source:, "Father forced to fight for parental rights after murder acquittal," 14 April 2011

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