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Relocation of mother igniting child custody dispute

Whether married, dating, divorced or separated, parents in Michigan understand the importance of being involved in their child's life. This desire is not always easy to accomplish. Parents might not get along. One parent might live further away due to their career, or a child custody arrangement might make it difficult to visit and spend enough time with their child or children. Parenting rights might be questioned in some situations, which might cause some parents to seek modification.

A recent child custody battle involved the Olympic skier Bode Miller and his son's mother Sara McKenna. Controversy began when the couple split and pregnant McKenna decided to move from California to New York in order to advance her career and attend college at Columbia University.

A judge called this action as irresponsible and deemed the move as self-serving with the motive to better herself in the legal dispute. This caused women's groups and advocates to respond and stating that this ruling took away pregnant women'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 did affirm the rights of pregnant women such as their right to travel and relocate. When a parent does relocate, it can cause disputes. Trying to gain more visitation rights or modify child custody arrangements can be an emotional process.

Those dealing with these issues should understand that they have rights and options in this situation and they should seek advice in order to protect their interests. 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 courts to decide.

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

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