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Manhattan dad declared unfit after denying son a McDonald's meal

In a case that is gaining national attention, a New York father is suing a court-appointed therapist for claiming that the dad is an unfit parent after he denied his son a trip to McDonald's. The suit has arisen during court proceedings involving a custody battle between the man and his estranged wife. During these proceedings, the therapist reported to the judge that the father was completely incapable of caring for his son. She recommends that the father's weekend visitation rights be denied.

The incident in question occurred during a typical Thursday night visit between the father and his 4-year-old son. While the pair typically dines at a restaurant known as Corner Cafe, the son insisted that they go to McDonald's instead. The father refused and the young boy threw a tantrum. The father then gave the child an ultimatum: Either they would eat anywhere but McDonald's, or there would be no dinner at all. The boy chose to not eat.

When the child was returned home, he told his mother about the incident. The mother then called the therapist. According to the father, the wife had not consulted him about the incident before contacting the counselor. After the incident was used against him in the custody proceedings, the father filed a defamation suit. According to the father, he regrets not taking the son to McDonald's, but he also did not want to reward bad behavior.

It's no surprise that child custody disputes can get ugly. When something as important as time spent with one's child is being fought for in court, the situation can become tense. Past situations that can seem trivial might end up playing a large role in the process. The courts will ultimately have to decide if the therapist's claim is ridiculous and unfounded or if the man is truly unqualified to care for his son.

washingtontimes.com, "Dad dubbed unfit parent for refusing son's pleas for McDonald's meals" Cheryl K. Chumley, Nov. 08, 2013

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