781.708.4445

wmlevine@levinedisputeresolution.com

Divorce Mediation Blog

The Voice of the Child: Call me Sam -- I mean, Call Me Nate

Monday, November 25, 2013

Yesterday's (November 24, 2013) New York Times carried word of the Bode Miller - Sara McKenna interstate custody battle that is tabloid fodder in California and New York. Custody of a toddler is at stake in a tug-of-war over jurisdiction and gender rights. Ms. McKenna moved to New York while pregnant; a NYC family court judge refused to grant custody to her after her son's birth, criticizing her for spiriting her fetus from San Diego for forum shopping purposes; the California Court gave Mr. Miller temporary custody, which order he enforced; a New York Appellate Court reversed its lower court; and a new custody hearing is set for Nov. 25th.

In the meanwhile, we have been hearing about and participating in discussions of how the "voice of the child" should be heard and reckoned with in family courts and in mediation. The topic is not without controversy and is far from complete. With a discussion about it in the context of mediation from the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation Annual Institute, on November 22nd freshly in mind, we were struck by a small but HUGE fact from the Miller-McKenna story that should be the headline of their collective parenting shame:

THEY CAN'T EVEN AGREE ON WHAT TO CALL THEIR SON

She calls him Sam, while he has renamed the boy Nate. Can it get more insane? And, by the way, both parents proclaim their intent to share parenting.

The court cases will come and go. The Courts will make interesting jurisdictional decisions. A woman's right to control her body will compete with a father's right to a fair shake in custody litigation. Lawyers will prosper and courts will compete for jurisdiction. And, in the end, none of it will matter to the subject of this adult madness.

We shake our heads and simultaneously say to one another "This kid hasn't got a chance."



Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:



Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles


recent posts


tags

health insurance Same Sex Marriage Cohabitation lawyer-attended mediation divorce arbitrator resolve disputes Major League Baseball Arbitration Massachusetts divorce lawyers self-adjusting alimony traditional negotiations IRC §2704 Divorce Agreements alimony law family law Divorce Boston arbitrator divorce judgment divorce mediators private dispute resolution alimony reform legislation Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth Alimony Reform Act child support lawyer family law arbitrator med/arb mediator lawyers SJC alimony orders high-risk methodology Levine Dispute Resolutions conciliation mediation fraud divorce litigation Baseball Arbitration divorce arbitration pre-ARA alimony Massachusetts alimony alimony statute Defense of Marriage Act mediators how baseball arbitration works family support Family Law Arbitration divorce arbitrators annulment Baseball Players divorce mediator Levine Dispute Resolution Center divorce process separation divorce and family law mediators medical benefits Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC Massachusetts disputes litigation arbitration health coverage DOMA Massachusetts lawyers family law mediation General term alimony alimony Matrimonial Arbitration Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act family and probate law disputes arbitrators family law arbitrators Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Chouteau Levine rehabilitative alimony Massachusetts divorce mediators divorce mediations divorce agreement LDRC COLA divorce and family law MLB labor agreement Child Support Guidelines divorce mediation Self-adjusting alimony orders divorce lawyers divorced The Seven Sins of Alimony facilitated negotiations dispute resolution Massachusetts alimony and child support family mediation med-arb mediations Baseball special master support orders Obamacare Uniform Arbitration Act Levine Dispute Resolution