Controversial Custody Decision Sparks National Attention of Child Custody Issues
An Oregon woman, Trisha Conlon, fought to keep her two teenage sons out of the care and custody of their father, John Cushing, after learning he reconciled with his first wife, Kristine Cushing. Already the makings of a classic soap opera, the story only gets more twisted.
In 1991, Kristine Cushing was married to John Cushing and they had two daughters who were 4 and 8. One night while they slept, she shot and killed both daughters. After pleading insanity due to the side effects of Prozac, Kristine was acquitted of all charges and spent the next decade in a mental institution undergoing psychiatric monitoring. During that time, John Cushing met and married Trisha Conlon. They had two children together: two boys who are currently thirteen and fourteen years old.
Following the deterioration of their marriage, Trisha and John divorced. The two entered into a shared custody agreement where the elder son lived with Trisha during the school year, the younger son lived with John during the school year, and both sons split the holidays and vacations between each parent. This arrangement worked until Trisha learned that John had reconciled with his first wife, Kristine, after her release. Now, Trisha is fighting to have the court modify the original custody agreement based on the potential danger to her children. The trial court denied her request, ruling that Kristine did not pose a threat to the children since the boys had spent time with her since 2008 without any problem. Trisha is currently appealing. Final child custody parenting plans may not be modified absent a material change of circumstances and may be difficult to revisit. While the general public will likely view the current living arrangement as a material change, it is unclear how the court will rule.
The Certified Family Law Specialists* at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri have decades of experience handling complex and heavily disputed child custody issues. If you are contemplating divorce or seeking to modify an existing child custody agreement, please contact the Certified Family Law Specialists* at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, who can provide you with an in depth analysis of your issues. Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.
*Certified Family Law Specialist, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization