Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Chicago Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Child Custody > Forgotten in the Chaos: The Deadly Toll of Child Custody Battles on Children

Forgotten in the Chaos: The Deadly Toll of Child Custody Battles on Children


The issue of child custody is no doubt one of the most heated and controversial topics that arise in a Chicago divorce. Who the children will live with and who will make important life decisions for the children born in a marriage that is soon-to-be over is something that both parties typically care deeply about and are willing to fight for. Unfortunately, with the stress and pressure of daily life mixed with the intensity of a Chicago divorce and child custody fights, oftentimes children in the midst of their parents’ divorce can get lost in the shuffle. However, today we are reminded just how dangerous child custody battles can be for the children who must endure them, and what parents should do to protect their children during heated Chicago divorce proceedings.

The Numbers Don’t Lie: Fatalities of Children Subject to Child Custody Battles

According to a USA Today report on the dangers of child custody battles to the children embroiled in them, almost every six days in the United States, a child who is the subject of a child custody dispute is killed. The case of Florida father Rashawd Hines is highlighted in the article to demonstrate just what type of fate can befall a child in the midst of a child custody dispute. In 2021, Hines feared that his two-year-old son was not safe when he went to visitations at his mother’s home. He requested a Florida court for full custody, but the court did not act immediately. Less than two months later, Hines’ son suffered blunt-force trauma and was killed by the boy’s mother’s boyfriend. The boy’s mother’s boyfriend is now facing criminal charges, but Hines’ loss can never be replaced.

According to San Rafael, California’s Center for Judicial Excellence, a whopping 944 children have been killed by a parent (including grandparents and other parental figures) going through a divorce or separation since 2008. Of those 944 deaths, the organization found that 137 were preventable, in the sense that one parent sought to limit the abusive parent’s rights to access the child or children. The organization also reports that gun violence accounts for most child deaths during child custody battles, being responsible for 445 of the 499 deaths. Blunt force trauma, stabbing, strangulation and drowning are also common causes of death among children killed during child custody disputes. 71% of cases involved fathers as the accused killer of the child, and 17% involved mothers. 12% of cases in which a child was killed during a child custody case involved another person as the accused killer.

Help with Child Custody Disputes in Chicago

If you are in Chicago and you are in a heated child custody dispute or if you have questions about child custody in general, it is best to speak with an experienced Chicago child custody lawyer. The experienced Chicago child custody lawyers at the law firm Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC offer a free and confidential consultation to learn about your case and to see if they can help. Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC and Speak to an experienced Chicago child custody lawyer about your case today.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn