How abuse accusations are handled re custody and parenting cases

When Washington parents are unable to amicably negotiate child-related issues in divorce, litigation is often necessary. Custody and other parenting issues can prompt highly emotionally charged situations, as made evident by a current case involving reality TV star, Bethenny Frankel, and her ex, Jason Hoppy. Accusations of abuse and child endangerment are coming from both sides of this case.

As in all child custody cases where unfit parenting is an issue, it will be up to the judge overseeing Frankel's case to determine if there is merit to her accusations against Hoppy. She claims he is emotionally and mentally abusive and that his presence is a detriment to their daughter's health. Hoppy has reportedly admitted that he said some unkind things to Frankel in the past and is sorry for that. He also said, however, that she has exposed their daughter to numerous dangerous situations, including incidents where Frankel's now-deceased boyfriend (who died of drug overdose) was present and possibly using drugs in front of his daughter.

Frankel recently revealed that she has some health concerns, one of which has landed her in a hospital intensive care unit. Reportedly, her current boyfriend telephoned 911 when she fell unconscious at a restaurant. In any child custody litigation, the court's focus is on doing what is best for the child who is the subject of the dispute.

In Frankel's case, the fact that her relationship with Hoppy is combative does not necessarily mean he is abusive or is a danger to his daughter. As would likely happen in similar cases in the state of Washington, the judge may order an investigation to help determine whether allegations on either side have merit and to help determine what type of custody and parenting arrangement would be best for the child. An experienced family law attorney can help diffuse contentious situations by acting on behalf of a concerned parent in court.

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