Odom Receives More Visitation With Surviving Twin Son, Continues Custody Fight
Posted December 11, 2001 1:02 a.m. EST
ANGIER, N.C. — Claude Odom, who has lost one child to drowning, will have more visitation with the boy's surviving twin.
Odom's visitation rights were increased during a child custody case in Warren County Tuesday morning. He now has his surviving son's twin brother, Garrett, on Christmas Day from 1 to 6 p.m., plus extra weekends and every other Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Odom said he has not dealt with the grief over losing his 4-year-old son, Jarrett, who drowned in the family's pool in July. Instead, he is concentrating on Garrett.
"I don't think he fully understands why his brother isn't there, but he's dealing with it a lot better than a lot of other people are," Odom said.
Odom has lost custody of Garrett to his biological mother, Janet. Odom's current wife, Sandra, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with Jarrett's death. Her trial will take place in January.
"Now to see my son, which I'm glad I've got the visitations that I do, but in order to see him, I've got to leave my other family completely behind," he said.
Raleigh family law attorney Lee Rosen said Odom is caught in the middle, but the court must err on the side of caution.
"If you have to make a mistake, any court is going to make it on the side of protecting the child, both physically and emotionally. That's always the right thing to do," Rosen said. "This is a gut-wrenching situation that's going to throw the legal system into a tailspin."
Janet Odom, who has primary custody, is suing for exclusive custody of Garrett. She said she cannot comment about the case until she consults with her attorney.