Texas parents may have heard that, on June 10, it was revealed that a wife of Lyle Jeffs, a polygamist and a leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, filed for custody of two of her children after she feared that they would be taken away. In a juvenile court hearing, her attorney stated that the mother, who is in the process of getting a divorce from Jeffs, feared that the children would be moved without the mother’s knowledge.
According to the report, the mother is Jeffs’ first wife. When they decided to get divorced, they both allegedly agreed to share custody of the two children, though they would primarily live with the mother. Jeffs additionally reportedly agreed to pay $1,000 in child support and cover some of the expenses of raising the children.
The judge presiding over the case noted that, while he approved the child custody agreement, the trade-off of the children was a concern. In early 2015, followers reportedly blocked a mother from taking her children, causing the authorities to step in. As such, it was agreed that the transfer would take place in a public park with authorities present.
Any custody dispute has the potential to become contentious, especially if a parent decides to leave a religion or move from the area. Depending on the case’s unique circumstances, an attorney who has experience in family law issues may help a parent file for sole or primary custody, seek child support and work out a visitation schedule with the other parent.
Source: NBC DFW, “Polygamist Leader’s First Wife Fights for Custody of Kids“, June 10, 2015