Any California parent with shared custody may be interested in a dispute that arose between two parents that may cause a father to lose visitation. On Oct. 30, a New York father picked up his child for their regularly scheduled visitation. The boy asked to have dinner at McDonald’s, but the man was concerned that his child had been eating too much unhealthy food and refused the request. As a result, the parents are back in court litigating the mother’s request to modify the child custody order.
The father had told the boy that he had two choices: he could skip dinner entirely or he could choose to eat any meal other than McDonald’s. Angry, the child refused to eat dinner. As a result, the father ended their visit early and took the boy back to the mother’s home. The father stated that he regretted his stance on the subject but did not feel that he should reward his son’s bad behavior with junk food.
The original custody order allowed the father to visit with his son on Tuesdays and every other weekend. However, a court psychologist recommended to the judge that the weekend visits be removed because of this incident. She stated that the father’s refusal to serve McDonald’s to his child on demand raised questions about the man’s fitness as a parent. Neither parent nor the psychologist immediately responded to requests for comment on the story.
Although the father may lose visitation and has filed a lawsuit against the psychologist, her assessment may affect the custody arrangements for the child. However, it may be possible to show the court that while the child was made unhappy by the father’s decision, he made the choice based on what he believes is in the best interests of the child.
Source: ABC News, “Suit: NY Dad Criticized for Denying Son McDonald’s“, Jennifer Peltz, November 08, 2013