There are a variety of factors a court considers when determining who will have custody of a child after a divorce. For instance, the judge will review the parent’s ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child, the interactions of the child with both parents and siblings, the safety of the child from physical abuse, whether there is a history of domestic abuse and the needs of the child. It’s unusual that a judge would need to consider whether one spouse has hired a hit man as he did for the case of Tiffany Stevens.
In a bizarre twist in a Connecticut court case, however, a judge has allowed a Connecticut woman, who was charged with trying to have her ex-husband killed, to retain legal custody of the couple’s eight year old daughter. Although efforts have been made by both the girl’s father and grandparents to obtain custody following the mother’s arrest, custody arrangements have not been changed. The father made a request following Tiffany Steven’s arrest, but the court rejected it. The grandparents have been waiting over a year and a half to have their case heard. Tiffany Stevens was given custody of the girl after the couple’s divorce in September of 2011.
According to the Imperial Valley Press, Tiffany Stevens of Bloomfield pleaded not guilty to attempted murder when she appeared before Judge Joan Alexander at Superior Court in Hartford on Tuesday. She now remains free on $1 million bail. Tiffany Stevens has been charged with hiring a hit man, John McDaid, to kill her ex-husband, Eric Stevens, for $5,000 following what has been termed a “bitter divorce.”
Those closest to the case refuse to comment, including Hope Seeley, an attorney with Santos & Seeley, P.C. in Hartford who is defending Tiffany Stevens against her class C felony charges. Evidence, which will be presented at her case scheduled for September 18, 2014, will include incriminating evidence that Tiffany Stevens purchased prescription medication and attempted to have Eric Stevens murdered.
Tiffany Stevens files for divorce from husband in 2009
Tiffany Stevens filed for divorce in 2009. During the custody battle both parents attempted to prove the other parent was not fit to retain custody of their daughter. The judge in the case gave legal custody to Tiffany Stevens and allowed her to maintain control of $50 million in holdings set aside for the custodial parent, according to the warrant.
Child Custody remains complicated topic
One of the most important and emotionally charged factors in a divorce is who will retain the legal and physical right to the children. It’s not unusual for many parents to make poor decisions if they are under stress and they feel the right to their children may be threatened.
The good news is many parents will have the legal right to work together to create a child custody agreement. The bad is, if you and your spouse cannot work together, the court will make an arrangement for you. Let’s hope our case is not as complicated as Tiffany Steven’s case.
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