Usher Raymond’s ex-wife, Tameka Raymond, recently filed an Emergency motion seeking a change in custody of their minor children. Last year, in an intense custody battle, Usher was granted primary custody of the children.
Recently, one of their son’s Usher Raymond V was swimming in the pool at home when he somehow managed to get his arm stuck in a drain hole. This allegedly resulted in him being stuck underwater and nearly drowning; he was rushed to the intensive care unit.
Soon after she was informed of the accident, Ms. Raymond filed an emergency hearing alleging that Usher was to blame for the accident due to allowing irresponsible caregivers to watch their children while he is frequently away (she claims that he is out of town 85% of the time)
After an emotional hearing that included testimony from both parties, the Judge ruled in favor of Usher Raymond, finding that there was not sufficient evidence to warrant a change of custody.
So what happened? After such a terrible accident that was nearly fatal, why didn’t the court grant custody to Ms. Raymond?:
1) No change in circumstances
Generally, once final child custody orders have been made, in order to change the order (unless the parties mutually agree to a change) there must be a substantial change in circumstances since the order was made, that create a need to change custody for the best interest of the children. In this case, Ms. Raymond’s argument was solely based upon this one incident that was admittedly an accident. One accident is just that-an accident and doesn’t constitute a change of circumstances.
2) Best Interest of Child
Child custody is also based on what’s in the best interest of the child. During the last custody battle, at which the Judge ultimately granted primary custody to Usher, the court determined that it would be in the best interest of the children to live primarily with Usher. Again, this one accident is not enough to show that a change of custody would be in the best interest of the children. In fact, it arguably could be detrimental to the children as it would suddenly uproot them from their accustomed daily routines, all due to one accident.
3) Accidents happen
Unfortunately, no one is perfect. Additionally, circumstances are rarely perfect. With that being said, accidents happen. Absent a showing that Usher was negligent in hiring the caregiver or that the caregiver was negligent, arguably, this situation could’ve happened to anyone.
4) Hiring caregivers to care for your children while you work doesn’t mean you’re an absent parent?
Another argument relied upon by Ms. Raymond is the fact that Usher has a busy work schedule which often requires him to be away from his children. Because working is a part of life in order to provide the necessaries of life for your family, most states find that a party shall not be punished for working or hiring a caregiver to care for their children while working (hence why daycare and schools exist, so that the children may receive the care they need in order to thrive while their parents work).
5) Sufficient evidence is vital
Ms. Raymond’s evidence and testimony was largely based upon hearsay. Ms. Raymond had no sufficient evidence to show that Mr. Raymond is an absent parent, that the caregivers are responsible, or many of her other allegations. Because evidence is vital to making a determination in your favor, and Ms. Raymond didn’t have much evidence at the time of the ruling, things didn’t work out in her favor.
Takeaway: When something like this happens, it’s best to put all of your focus on ensuring that your child recovers while your attorney gathers all of the evidence that’s necessary to prove your case. Because filing this emergency motion was so rushed, not only did Ms. Raymond not produce sufficient evidence, but she also wasted valuable time that could’ve been spent with her son at the hospital.