Some people might assume that it’s always better for a small child to be raised by family members, such as grandparents, rather than being in daycare. But a Pennsylvania appeals court recently awarded custody to a father, even though it meant the child would spend a lot of time in daycare instead of with the mother’s parents.
In this case, the wife’s parents lived in the couple’s home. When the couple had a child, the wife’s mother became the primary caretaker.
Conflict soon broke out over the wife’s parents’ alleged attempt to keep the husband from bonding with his new child. As a result, the couple agreed that the grandparents would move out, and they did.
However, the wife went with them. She took the child, and filed for divorce the next day.
When the husband sought custody, the wife allegedly responded by making false accusations that he had abused and injured the child.
The court awarded custody to the father, saying that doing so was appropriate given the mother’s and her parents’ misbehavior. It said that giving custody to the father “might be of significant benefit to child at this time, and might make mother realize that her lack of cooperation and attempts at alienation will not be rewarded.”
Although this meant that the child would be in daycare much of the time, the court said this could be a positive thing. Specifically, “it will be beneficial for the child to be in contact with other children on a regular basis and to be among adults other than [the mother’s] family members.”