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


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