The Chicago Family Law Blog


Boy Whose Mom Bludgeoned His Dad In Legal Custody Limbo

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Eleven-year-old Joey Dombroski, whose family disintegrated after his mother severely bludgeoned his father in the face with a sledgehammer seven years ago, is waiting to find out where he'll call home, the Chicago Daily Herald reported. 

He had been living with his paternal grandmother and his father, Joe Dombroski, who survived the brutal attack but unexpectedly died last month. But instead of spending Thanksgiving with his grandmother, Agnes Dombroski, a McHenry County Judge delayed his custody hearing until early December.

Illinois family lawyers representing Kelly Dombroski, the boy's mother, declined to speak with reporters.

Joey Dombroski was placed with a Villa Park foster family the day after his father died. But Debbie Dombroski, Joe Dombroski's first wife, said she believes the decision by the Department of Children and Family Services only hurts the sixth grader:

"They could have very easily put him with his father's best friend. Then he wouldn't have had to change school and drop sports."

Meanwhile, Kelly Dombroski served roughly six years in prison after pleading guilty to the attack. She was released in January 2009 and now is fighting for custody of her son. The boy's paternal relatives are outraged, while his half-sister Ashley Dombroski said she just wants to spend some time with him:

"I want to fight to have visitation with my brother because right now, I don't have any." 

Family members have told the court, and reporters, that Kelly Dombroski made little effort to get in touch with her son while she was in prison.

Illinois law holds that the Dept. of Children and Family Services can intervene to stop Kelly Dombroski from getting custody of her son only if she has been stripped of parental rights, has been convicted of violent crimes against children or if the reunification would not be in his best interests.

Only the third criterion remains in play and is up to the courts to decide. This only illustrates the importance of having a persistent and skilled Chicago family law attorney on your side during custody disputes.

Related Resources:

  • Focusing on the "Best Interests" of the Child (FindLaw)
  • Find a Divorce Attorney in Chicago (FindLaw)
  • Domestic Violence Issues in a Child Custody Context (FindLaw KnowledgeBase)

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