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Cross-country child custody case gets complicated

Anytime there are custody issues to work out for parents, there are bound to be complications. However, when parents are across the country from each other and both want the child full-time, the child custody ruling of one court in one state could be challenged by another state family court. Any Pennsylvania parent who is dealing with child custody issues with another parent who is in another state may want to follow the case of Olympic skier Bode Miller.

The skier met and had a relationship with a woman in California. When she became pregnant, she contends he expressed a desire to not be involved with the child. While pregnant, she moved back to New York to pursue a degree and gave birth. She sought custody and support from Miller, resulting in a judge chastising her for moving away from the father while pregnant and he sent the case back to California.

Miller then got custody of the baby until a new ruling gave the child back to the mother temporarily. Both parents have given the baby a different name. Several women's rights groups have supported the mother and have taken issue with a judge admonishing her move while being pregnant. Also, support has grown for Miller as some see the case as a father's rights issue since the mother could to move cross-country while pregnant despite any objections.

The case could set a precedent in family courts if there are any contingencies placed on a mother's choice to move while pregnant. While the case plays out in family court and the media, any Pennsylvania parent involved a cross-country child custody case may benefit from inquiring how this case could impact their own quest for custody. Family law judges and advocates work hard to ensure the best interests of the child is upheld, but when complications arise, knowing the law and rights of the parents can be beneficial for anyone involved.

Source: KansasCity.com, Skier's custody case becomes women's-rights cause, Jennifer Peltz, Nov. 29, 2013

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