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Court seeks to restore chance at family in child custody case

The overriding principle guiding decisions involving custody and support issues in divorce is what serves the best interest of the children. That can be a difficult call to make. So many competing factors can come into play.

Child custody disputes in Texas can sometimes bring out the worst in the parties involved. Finding a way through the emotional upheaval and doing so in accordance with the law is something that can require delicacy. Experienced family law attorneys understand this and are prepared to put skill to work on behalf of their clients.

The worst-case scenario of what can happen in contentious divorce and custody disputes is something akin to chaos. As an example, consider a case that is playing out now. At the center of the case are two teenage sisters in Minnesota.

Back in 2013, their parents went through a painful divorce. In the course of the proceedings, the girls repeatedly claimed their father had abused them. But a court-appointed psychologist looked into the issue and concluded the mother had brainwashed the girls. Citing no credible evidence of abuse, the court granted the father full custody of the children. But by the time the order was issued, the girls had run away.

Earlier this year, the girls were discovered on a horse farm in Western Minnesota. Prosecutors now allege that their mother left them at the farm two years ago. She is now facing six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights. At last word she was being held on $1 million bail.

This week, a judge faced a tough decision about how to serve the best interest of the girls. The owners of the horse farm where they had been staying asked to be allowed to take them again. County welfare officials said the girls should go back into foster care. And their father asked for the right to send them to a special program for family reunification. The judge opted for the latter.

The girls reportedly refuse to live with their dad, but the judge says their "life has become a circus," and he says he hopes his decision provides them with a chance to love their parents again.

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