Many unmarried parents in Somerville, New Jersey, understand that establishing parental rights with a child out of wedlock is complicated. That is the predicament that Olympic skier Bode Miller and his former flame are facing.
Miller and the woman met through a matchmaker and had a romantic relationship that quickly faded. He married someone else while she pursued a college education. Nevertheless, their short-lived romance yielded a child, who is at the center of their child custody dispute.
Miller accused the woman of moving from California to New York to find a court that would likely take her side in order to keep their son away from him. In December 2013, McKenna petitioned to have temporary custody of their son but a New York judge rejected the case and sent it to a California court, accusing her of forum shopping. The California court awarded the custody of their son to the father.
However, an appeals court intervened in the contentious child custody battle, determining that the case should remain in New York. The appellate court, which stated that a woman has the right to make decisions on her own, even if she is pregnant, overturned the first decision and awarded the woman custody of their son -- temporarily.
Aside from the fact that many unmarried parents have the same problem, the result of this case may be important because it touches upon the issue about the mobility of women and their right to make their own decisions while they are pregnant.
The court awards child custody based on several factors. This case is only in its early phase and it is difficult to tell how the court will decide. However, one thing is true in cases like this -- there is a child involved and the whole situation is difficult for that child too. The parents should consider this because, after all, the decision about child custody should be in 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