Child custody decision rests on mother’s move while pregnant
Florida Olympic fans may have heard of the bitter custody case between ski star Bode Miller and his former girlfriend. The case has made headlines across the nation, but not due to paternity claims, child support struggles, or issues of abuse or neglect. The child custody case has become the center of controversy due to the focus on the mother’s decision to relocate across the country while still pregnant.
Just two months prior to giving birth, the child’s mother decided to relocate to the east coast in order to attend Columbia University. When the baby was born, she filed for temporary custody of the infant. However, Miller had already filed to establish parental rights on the west coast, prior to the baby’s birth.
The east coast court ruled that the mother acted in a manner that was both “irresponsible” and “reprehensible” when she decided to move. They also made the unusual ruling that the matter should be heard in the west coast court, even though the child was born and resided in the east coast jurisdiction. As a result, the father was able to gain custody of the baby. The mother has seen her child for fewer than 10 days since that decision in early September.
Upon appeal, that decision was reversed, and the matter will soon return to the jurisdiction where the mother resides. The child custody case has led to outrage on the part of many women’s advocacy groups, who agree with the appellate panel that there is nothing in the law to restrict the rights of a pregnant woman to move wherever she sees fit. Florida readers will likely learn more as the case makes its way through the legal system.
Source: Fox News, Bode Miller’s custody battle raises concerns about womens’ rights while pregnant, No author, Nov. 26, 2013