Child custody disputes between parents often get heated. When you are dealing with something as invaluable and precious as your child and the time you get to spend with your child, it’s no surprise that divorced spouses often have a hard time negotiating child custody terms in a calm, reasonable manner. Even after the divorce is finalized, living arrangements can change, forcing ex-spouses to once again figure out a new time-sharing agreement. Sometimes, the fighting between ex-spouses over child custody issues can get so intense that one or both spouses may act out in anger. In Orlando recently, a bitter father took his anger too far; he attempted to take his own life and his daughter’s life to prevent his ex-wife from taking his daughter to live out of state.

The man and his wife divorced in 2011 after 4 years of marriage. In court, the couple agreed to share custody of their one daughter until she turned 10, at which point they would allow their daughter to choose who she wanted to live with. Things changed when the mother was offered a new job, which would require moving from Florida to Texas. She asked the judge to allow her to take her daughter full time, claiming she would be able to provide a better life for the girl than her ex-husband would be able to, since he had recently had surgery and was facing medical problems. The man fought against this request, but the judge agreed to allow the mother to take the child full time. The mother requested an emergency pickup order of her daughter, as she feared that her ex-husband would not comply with the judge’s order, but the emergency pickup order was declined. Sadly, what happened next was a misguided act of true desperation: the man set his house on fire with himself and his daughter inside. Luckily, authorities were able to save both the man and his daughter, and both are expected to survive. The man is now facing charges of attempted murder and arson.

While child custody battles don’t typically go THAT far, they are often intense and stressful for both parents involved. That is why it is so vital to have an experienced family law attorney at your side to assist with the process. A knowledgeable and trustworthy lawyer can help minimize the devastation that divorce can cause.

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