Child custody issues can arise in several contexts. Divorcing couples, unmarried couples, and parents and grandparents may all fight over child custody. In each situation, the child’s best interests are most important, and, if an agreement between the parties cannot be reached, a judge will decide based on those interests. Yet, these cases are not always cut and dry, especially when a move separates the child from a parent by a long distance.
This is the situation in one professional athlete’s child custody case. Bode Miller, gold-medalist skier, had a short term relationship with a woman in California who gave birth to their child. The mother, apparently seeking to improve her career opportunities and thus her child’s future, moved from California to New York, where she attends Columbia University.
When the custody case came before a court, the judge found the move irresponsible, claiming the mother was merely seeking a better legal position. The decision by that judge has since been reversed, and the mother will retain temporary custody until a hearing in December. Some critics are viewing this as a women’s rights win, while others see it as recognition of fathers’ rights.
Either way, child custody disputes like this can turn into battles. A sudden move, changing economic circumstances, and changed living environments can all have an effect on a custody determination. An Arizona family law attorney can be helpful in these situations by developing legal arguments that support the best interests of the child and seeking to prove his client is best suited to provide for those interests. The attorney may gather various types of evidence to buttress these arguments. Additionally, the attorney may approach issues of sole custody and visitation rights.
Though child custody fights can be brutal, they do not have to be. A family law attorney can also help parents sit down to seek common ground when it comes to custody and visitation. This approach may allow the couple to avoid a trial, save time, and reduce stress associated with battling over a child.
Source: The Barre Montpelier Times Argus, “Miller’s child custody case becomes women’s-rights cause,” Nov. 30, 2013