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New bill requires more home visits after loss of custody

A toddler's death that took place in Moore has drawn media attention and helped make changes to custody rules to prevent such incidents from happening again in the future. According to the news report, the toddler, a 23-month-old child, had been at home with his mother when he wandered away from the house and fell into a pond. He was discovered after he drowned in the pond that was just half a mile from his home.

The tragic part of the case was that the child had been removed from his mother's custody in the previous fall due to an alcohol-induced argument. The children, the child and his sibling, were there at the time, and a gun was pulled out during the argument. This resulted in the children going to temporary guardians, who now state that they never wanted the children to go back to their mother.

The mother has been charged with felony child abuse and involuntary manslaughter. She took a plea deal that has not yet been released by the courts. There have been changes caused by the tragic incident, though, that are known. A new bill, called Rylan's Law, now requires the county social services department to go to the home of a parent who has lost child custody at least two times and approve of the home visits at least twice before allowing the parent to obtain custody of the child. In this case, the county social services department never went to the woman's home to check on the child.

As someone with child custody concerns, knowing that these visits are implemented now can be a relief, especially if you have sole or primary custody due to concerns about the other parent's ability to provide or care for your child. If your child is in danger, there are steps you can take to change your custody arrangements.

Source: WRAL.com, "Moore toddler's death inspires tighter custody rules," Cullen Browder, Sharon Nunn, April 25, 2017

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