Single Mom Stuck in Child Custody Hell for 3 Years Comes Up With Brilliant Plan

justiceYou've heard of suing for custody, right? Well, have you ever heard of suing the judge in your child custody battle? That's what a mom in Manhattan is doing. She's suing the family court referee who has been overseeing her custody case for the past three years.

Three years, says Maggie Rhee Karn, is just too darn long.

Her methods are unusual, but I'm betting more than a few single parents out there are nodding right along and war whooping on her behalf. Child custody is complicated, but come on, folks. Three years?!

If there's ever a time to use the phrase "think of the children," this is it!


Rhee Karn's lawsuit claims that her case against her ex, Kenneth Karn, has taken more 1,200 days. Meanwhile, state law dictates these sort of cases should be closed within three months.

A pain for the mom, I'm sure, but I'm really thinking about her 9-year-old daughter here. You only get 18 years of childhood. To spend three of them hanging in limbo is untenable.

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Granted, child custody cases cannot and should not be handled overnight. Much as parents would like to just get it over with, when you're talking about a child's future, you want to make sure you have all your i's dotted and your t's crossed. Think of it this way: if you make a mistake, it is a child who has to pay for it.

That said, they should certainly be handled as quickly as humanly possible for the simple reason that you have kids' lives on the line here.

Custody decisions affect so much more than just which parent is paying the other parent child support. It can affect what school district a child will live in. What activities they can sign up for (nope, sorry, can't do Odyssey of the Mind on Thursdays because I have to go to Mom's in another town!). What birthday parties they can attend (sorry, cousin on Mom's side, but I'm with Dad this weekend, and it would just be way too awkward). And on and on and on.

Child custody decisions tend to dictate everything that will happen in a child's life, and they have no control over it. The least a court can do is keep in mind that kids grow up fast, and there is no time to waste in putting their life back in order. Kids thrive on routine, but they can't settle into one if they never know when some judge is going to upset the apple cart.

Three months is bad enough to keep a kid hanging. But three years? You better believe I'd be suing!

How about you? What do you think the time limit should be for a judge to decide on a child custody case?


Image via -jvl-/Flickr

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