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Woman loses family law case based on her chosen profession

Many parents throughout the state of Florida face challenges to their child custody rights. In most cases, these matters are based on claims that the children are at risk of harm or neglect by remaining in the care of a particular parent. There are some family law cases, however, in which the issue at hand has little to do with any real risk to a child and is simply a matter of morality. A recent case illustrates what can happen when a court chooses to act on moral beliefs, rather than simple fact.

A mother lost custody of her two children based on the fact that she had worked as a prostitute. That action took place despite the fact that her employment was in an established brothel in a state where prostitution is legal. There is also no indication that the children were ever anywhere near her place of work. The mother testified that she chose to pursue that type of employment based on the fact that she owed more than $30,000 in medical debt, she had taken on student loans, and the father of both children had fallen behind on his child support.

The court ruled that the father should have primary custody. On appeal, the mother won back her rights to raise her children. The ruling from the appellate court stated that the lower court's decision seemed to be based more on the mother's source of income than on any issues related to the best interests of the children. It was also pointed out that the father had testified in court that he had used cocaine while the children were sleeping in his care.

As this case shows, parents in Florida and elsewhere face real threats to their child custody rights when a family law court is presented with issues of morality. Fortunately, this mother was able to regain her right to raise her children. Even so, she can never get back the time she lost with them while this matter was playing out in court.

Source: timesfreepress.com, "Tennessee court gives former prostitute primary custody of her children", Nov. 1, 2016

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