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Child custody: Parents disagreed over daugther's burial

Many Pennsylvania couples need a family law court to intervene and mediate in disputes following a divorce. Some disputes may revolve around child custody and support until any shared children reach adulthood. A family law court recently intervened between a couple in an unusual custody dispute between two parents.

The custody case was sadder than usual. The two divorced parents were in disagreement over their 14-year-old daugther's burial. The mother is Muslim and disagreed with the father's wishes to cremate his daughter and maintain possession of her ashes. To further complicate matters, the mother has been criminally charged with abuse and neglect in her daughter's death, but because they were not more serious homicide charges, the mother legally maintains the right to decide her daughter's burial.

The mother and her children were apparently living in a home without basic essentials of running water and heat. When the daughter contracted a cold, the mother accused her of laziness and is believed to have physically beat her daughter. The girl died approximately 14 days after contracting her cold. Following her death, her parents disputed over her burial, resulting in her body remaining in a morgue for two months.

Recently, a family law court judge ruled that the girl's father would receive custody of his daughter's body for burial, although the judge reprimanded him as well for his minimal physical presence and financial support in his children's lives following his divorce. Although the judge was not specific on the type of burial, he ordered the father to make his daughter's arrangements. Pennsylvania family law attorneys are equipped to handle difficult and unusual child custody cases such as this one and can assist any parent through any dispute in the years following a divorce.

Source:, "Judge awards father custody of daughter's body in abuse case", Feb. 10, 2018

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