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Fathers' rights at stake for man cleared of murder charges

When determining issues regarding family law, courts make decisions that are in the best interests of the children involved. But despite an effort to protect fathers' rights in family law proceedings, complicated matters can still arise.

One father may not be able to return to his home with his children unless he admits to a murder charge that he has already been cleared of. He had endured two criminal trials and was acquitted of the charges against him. But despite the outcome of the trials, prosecutors won't allow him to live with his children unless he admits he is guilty of the murder charge.

According to the report, the father had been taking care of his roommate's child; the child died in his care. However, testimony revealed that the young child had already been sick for a while.

Following the two murder trials, the father was released from jail and returned home. But Child Protective Services came to his home and informed him that he could not be at home with his children. Apparently, the father is supposed to take a course about child abuse that ends with him admitting his guilt before being allowed to live with his children.

The father, his attorney, and even the jurors at both of his trials believe that this is unfair. Should his parental rights be taken away simply because he won't admit to committing the crime he's already been cleared of?

While Family Courts do look to the best interests of the children, is it in the children's best interest to separate them from their father? If he was found guilty of the violent crime charges, it is likely not in the best interests of the children to have him living with them. But he was cleared of the charge. Shouldn't he be able to return home?

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

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