Families are often affectionately described as dysfunctional, even in the best of times. When disputes arise it can be difficult for all concerned, as family ties often mean that couples may still come into contact from time to time after they separate or divorce. When a couple is no longer a “couple,” and children are involved, it is likely that the parents still want the best for the children. The tough part comes in determining how much involvement each parent should have in a child’s life when full custody is no longer an option for both parents.
In recent weeks, New York has seen an ongoing custody battle between Olympian Bode Miller and his son's mother. The latest dispute arose when Miller requested to take his son to California despite having just returned from five weeks of traveling with him for the Olympics. Furthermore, in light of that extended absence, the boy’s mother had already been granted custody of him for the month of April.
The father argued that it would be in his son’s best interests to enjoy the company of his half-sister while she was home from school in California in mid-April. The toddler's mother was reluctant to comply with such a request after being without her 13-month-old son for so long already. She also added that her family was traveling to New York to see him. The former U.S. Marine feared that her son had begun to forget her face in the time they were apart.
It is understandable that both parents wish to spend as much time with their son as possible. However, it is also important that he gets to be with each of them enough to form lasting bonds and benefit from their individual affections.
Reaching a mutual agreement over matters such as visitation rights or other areas of family law can be arduous. It is important that both parties decide whether it is in their best interests to cooperate and if they are able, find a resolution that benefits each of them.
A knowledgeable New York attorney can guide you through this process and help you reach a decision that is fair and agreeable.
Source: New York Daily News, "Bode Miller baby doesn't recognize mother after world travels, says lawyer in bitter custody battle," Barbara Ross, April 7, 2014