California Parents Continue Child Custody Fight for Native American Foster Child
The foster family of a six-year old girl is at the center of a highly contested legal battle regarding custody and her Native American roots, as her foster parents continuing their fight to return her to their home in California.
According to court documents, the young girl, who is 1/64 Choctaw Indian, falls under the Indian Child Welfare Act, which was passed in 1978. The measure, according to the National Indian Child Welfare Association, is aimed at helping to keep (American Indian) children with American Indian families.
The legal dispute, which has waged on for several years, reached a new development earlier this year when Los Angeles County courts ruled that the child should be removed from the custody of foster parents and placed with relatives of a step-grandfather in Utah. Though the couple in Utah is not Native American, the courts ruled that a connection through a step-grandfather was sufficient for removal.
Shortly after the child was moved, the foster parents filed a legal petition requesting the case be heard by the state Supreme Court. Though no court date has been set, the appeal will allegedly pose the issue of best interest for the child, citing that the current family’s lack of affiliation with the Choctaw tribe does not fit the full scope of the law.
Family Law Issues in California
Child custody and any related issues fall under the scope of family law, just one of many facets of law today. Family law refers to issues of the family, including those related to household relationships, like those between spouses or between parents and children, including:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Prenuptial agreements
- Domestic violence
Many family laws are decided on a state-by-state basis, including matters like divorce and child support or custody. In California, there are specific laws on the books regarding family law, including the fact that California is a no-fault state for divorce.
Though family law cases can be resolved without a lengthy legal process, such as through collaborative divorce or mediation, it is possible for many of these cases to become quite drawn out. Family law matters often result in disputes, especially when cases involve children or significant assets, such as in high asset divorce cases.
As a result, it is increasingly important that, if you are dealing with any family law issue, you consult with a qualified attorney, who specializes not only in this particular area of law, but also with the state’s individual legal guidelines.
Finding a Family Law Attorney
At Whitmarsh Family Law, PC, our attorneys understand that family law issues can be stressful. That’s why we are committed to working with our clients to devise the best strategy possible, and delivering the best results possible in your situation.
Whether you are dealing with the end of a marriage or experiencing a disagreement regarding child custody or support, our attorneys can advocate on your behalf.
Not sure how to approach your family law matter? We invite you to schedule a preliminary consultation with the legal team at Whitmarsh Family Law, PC today at (310) 552-3505.