• November 3, 2011

Most parents know that eating too much isn’t healthy and at least some attempt to instill good eating habits in their children.  But what happens when, for one reason or another, children become overweight.  If you are divorcing, potentially a lot.A recent article in the Daily Mail (UK), points to the rise of childhood obesity as a factor in custody disputes.  Although not yet a major issue in Minnesota, it is something that could be raised as part of the best interests factors, particularly as they relate to the “mental and physical health of all involved.”  It could also become an issue in custody modifications, where a key issue is whether the child’s present environment “endangers the child’s physical or emotional health.”  Obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes, mental-health issues resulting from bullying or teasing, and related concerns, if significant enough, could lead courts to modify custody arrangements.  Given the fact that childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years, this is poised to become a more and more important family-law issue.

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