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Relocation sparks custody dispute for Olympic skier

Parents in Texas understand the importance of being involved in their child's life. This desire is not always easy to accomplish because the parents might be divorced, separated or unmarried. In some cases, parents might not get along. Furthermore, one might live further away due to their career. The relocation of a parent might cause disputes and family law issues, which might lead to a child custody modification.

A recent child custody battle involved Olympic skier Bode Miller and his son's mother, Sara McKenna. Controversy began when the couple split and the pregnant McKenna decided to relocate. She decided to move from California to New York in order to advance her career and attend college at Columbia University. Miller did not agree with this move and decided to fight for parental rights for his unborn son.

A judge called this action irresponsible and deemed the move as self-serving, with the motive to better herself, in the legal dispute that was already forming around the custody of their unborn son. The judge's ruling caused women's groups and advocates to respond stating that this ruling took away a pregnant woman's rights to decide where to live. This resulted in the recent reversal of the ruling. The 9-month-old boy is now with his mother in New York until the next hearing.

The reversal of this ruling did affirm the rights of pregnant women, such as their right to travel and relocate. But when a parent does relocate, it can cause disputes about custody and visitation. Trying to gain more visitation rights or modify child custody arrangements can be an emotional and difficult process. Those dealing with these issues should understand that they have rights and options. The focal point in these disputes should always be on the best interest of the child, and if the parents are not able to amicably determine what is best for the child, then it is often left up to the court to decide.

Source: Yahoo! News, "Skier's custody case becomes women's-rights cause," Jennifer Peltz, Nov. 29, 2013

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