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Leader of polygamist religious sect in child custody dispute

Texas residents may be interested to read that a polygamist religious leader is involved in a child custody dispute. The man is a leader in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and has multiple wives. His first wife, who is in the process of getting a divorce, is seeking custody of their 14-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son.

Child custody disputes within the FLDS have a history of tension. Recently, a former member of the same polygamous religious community attempted to leave with her children but was prevented from doing so by loyal followers. The religious leader's first wife told a judge that she fears members of the sect will hide her children. Her attorney told a judge that he thinks children are being moved out of the community in large trucks.

After a closed court hearing on April 20, the man and his first wife reportedly agreed to share custody of their two children. A judge approved the couple's agreement to have the children live primarily with their mother and spend time with their father on alternating weekends. The father also agreed to pay $1,000 in child support each month and cover the children's healthcare and educational expenses.

During a child custody hearing, it is important for the judge to have an understanding of the unique factors that are involved in the case. For example, if parents are unable to communicate effectively with each other, a judge may order a more specific visitation schedule. An attorney may be able to help a parent who is involved in a child custody case to make sure that the presiding judge has all of the information that is relevant to the case.

Source: 5 NBCDFW.com, "Polygamist Leader's First Wife Fights for Custody of Kids," June 10, 2015

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