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Custody Awarded to Stepfather: 10 Month Old Child Now to Have Open-Heart Surgery

CHICAGO, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- In a groundbreaking case that could affect one-third of American families, Cook County Circuit Court Judge John Thomas Carr transferred custody of a 10 month old child with a severe heart condition to the child's stepfather from the mother. Judge Carr also gave the father custody of his 3 year old biological child by the same mother. This decision is highly unusual because most courts have not recognized stepfathers as having any rights whatsoever.

The temporary order of protection was in response to the alarmed stepfather's claims that the mother cancelled the 10 month old's life-saving open heart surgery and also beat the 3 year old child.

The court agreed with the stepfather's attorneys, Jeffery Leving and Maureen Gorman, who proved that custody of the stepchild should be placed with the stepfather when necessary to protect the child. A case status review is scheduled for Feb. 9, 2009.

"Traditionally, unless a stepfather adopts a child, he has no legal rights to the stepchild. However, our law firm is accustomed to handling these special cases with the best interest of the children as our guiding principle. Protecting fathers' rights and the welfare of children are our highest priorities -- we are saving children's lives everyday," said Jeffery Leving, founder of

According to research, up to one-third of Americans are now living in stepfamily homes and more than half of Americans today at some point will be part of a stepfamily. "Thus, it is of growing importance to clarify the gray area of stepparent rights and it is vital to remember that the bonds created between children and stepparents are real and lasting," Mr. Leving continues.

SOURCE Law Offices of Jeffery Leving
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