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Post-divorce actions can affect child custody arrangements

Contentious child custody contests can continue for quite a long time. Given how precious children are, this is perhaps not surprising. But for parents in Illinois and across the nation, the issues that custody cases raise are invariably cut close to the heart.

In one current high-profile case, the musician Usher - well-known to millions for his role last year on television's "The Voice" - had to defend against his ex-wife's attempt to get temporary custody of the couple's two children.

The attempt came the day after one of the children, a 5-year-old boy, was involved in an accident while under the care of Usher's aunt.

The 5-year-old had suffered a swimming pool accident. He had fallen to the bottom of a pool and somehow became stuck. A contractor who was working at the home was able to get the boy out of the pool and perform CPR on him.

Emergency workers soon arrived. By then, police said, the boy was conscious and able to breathe.

The judge denied the temporary custody request made by the boy's mother. She claimed that the boy had been left unsupervised at the time of the accident.

The evidence showed, however, that Usher's aunt had been present at poolside when the boy accidentally became stuck in the drain.

Though the mother's request was denied, a case such as this is a reminder that child custody arrangements set forth in a divorce decree remain subject to potential modification. If one parent shows that he or she engaging in behavior that is not in a child's best interest, it is possible that the custody arrangement can be altered.

Source: Time, "Judge Sides with Usher in Child Custody Battle," Kate Brumback, August 9, 2013

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