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:


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


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