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Some child custody cases more complex than others

Very often, Pennsylvania residents will hear or see media coverage of a custody battle that includes sensational details. Many times, these cases make for good television but often fail to reflect the realities of the matter. There are child custody cases in which parents are maligned and humiliated long before the full facts emerge. An example might be found in a recent case that has made headlines across the nation.

A 3-year-old boy was recently found alone in a corn maze. Such mazes are an autumn tradition in many parts of the country, which feature elaborate mazes created entirely out of live cornstalks. In this case, it appears that the child spent hours alone in the maze after his family departed.

The boy was found by a visitor to the maze. He was cold and afraid but otherwise unharmed. Workers were notified and tried to locate the boy's family on the property. As the hours passed and no one arrived to claim the child, police were called to the scene.

The next morning, the boy's parents called police to report that their child was missing. By that point, the state's Division of Child and Family Services had been called in to assist and investigate the matter. To many parents, the thought of leaving a child behind is difficult to bear. However, there are cases in which such an action could be justifiably explained.

For example, if extended family were present during an outing, there could easily be confusion as to which relatives were planning to keep a child for an overnight visit. Anyone who's grown up surrounded by siblings and cousins can understand the chaos that can occur during family get-togethers. It is possible that these parents believed that their 3-year-old son was simply in the care of another relative and did not realize that he had been left at the maze until the following morning.

As investigators continue to look into this matter, Pennsylvania parents are likely to learn more details. For the time being, however, it is important to avoid rushing to judgment on a matter that has not been fully investigated. If it appears that these parents were negligent or intentionally placed their child in harm's way, they could be in for a challenging child custody fight with the state.

Source:, "Corn maze owner speaks after 3-year-old boy left behind", Kiersten Nunez and Ashton Edwards, Oct. 10, 2017

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