The custody battle between Olympic skier Bode Miller and his former girlfriend Sara McKenna is one of the most talked about family law issues in the U.S. at the moment, including in Philadelphia. Some people assumed that the relationship would not last, which is what happened. They met through a matchmaker and their romantic relationship quickly faded. However, they are still connected; they have a son, who is in the middle of their child custody battle.
Miller married another woman while McKenna continued her studies in another state. However, the move has its setbacks. Miller accused McKenna of moving from California to New York to find a court that would be sympathetic to her in order to keep their son away from him. In December 2013, she requested temporary custody of their son but a New York judge accused her of forum shopping and sent the case to a California court, which awarded the baby's custody to Miller.
An appellate court overturned the first decision and determined that the case should remain under New York jurisdiction. The court stated that the first decision violated McKenna's rights, stressing that a pregnant woman has the right to decide where to live on her own, even without the consent of the child's father. Although the case is still in court, its result may be significant on a national scale.
As it is with other family law issues, the court will decide on child custody and visitation rights based on several factors. In a case like this, where there is tension between the parents, they should remember that their child is in the middle. If the unwed parents do not cooperate and they let their pride take control of the situation, the case may compromise the best interests of the child.
Source: Fox News, "Bode Miller's Custody Battle Raises Concerns about Women's Rights While Pregnant," Nov. 26, 2013