Many residents here in Texas may have already heard the news by now that the 35-year-old woman allegedly responsible for sending ricin-laced letters to political figures across the nation has prematurely given birth this month to a baby boy. According to reports, the baby was born four months premature and may face serious medical issues while hospitalized.
But while the continued health of the new baby boy is a concern, new concerns could arise from this case in the months to come, especially surrounding child custody. For those of our readers not familiar with the case, the Texas woman's husband had filed for divorce in early June and has been awaiting word from the family courts on the matter. Depending on the outcome of her criminal trial, child custody could become an issue with her new son and the custody of her other five children as well.
For five of her children, ranging from 4 to 19, custody may not be contested by her current husband because these children were conceived in prior relationships. With her new child, however, the case may be very different. The father may fight for his right to gain custody of the child over his wife. The fact that his wife tried to frame him for the crime of sending the ricin-laced letters could play a part in his bid for custody though the courts will ultimately have to make a decision on the matter.
As many of our readers can imagine, criminal investigations can often complicate custody battles such as this because the outcome of the case can sometimes play a role in a family court judge's decision. Although it's unclear if this is the case in this particular circumstance, having legal representation for this potential issue will be key in coming to a quick child custody resolution down the road.
Sources: ABC News, "Woman in Ricin Case Gives Birth in Custody," Nomaan Merchant, July 24, 2013
Sky News, "Ricin Letters: Woman 'Tried To Frame Husband'," June 28, 2013