After a New York Family Court called Sara McKenna’s decision to move to New York while pregnant “reprehensible,” she took her case to an appeals judge, who laced into the lower court for violating McKenna’s rights, claiming “putative fathers have neither the right nor the ability to restrict a pregnant woman from her Constitutionally protected liberty.” The appellate court gave McKenna custody of Sam (or, as Bode Miller would call him, “Nate”)… for now.
The couple is due back in court on December 9th; this next hearing could take the case in yet another new direction.
In an analysis of the case, Lee-Ford Tritt, a Professor of Law University of Florida, said “I have never heard of a restriction on a pregnant woman telling her that she can’t move to another state.” It makes sense that the courts would want to prevent a woman from absconding with a child, after a child has been born. But a child in uterus is a very different entity, legally speaking.
As the Miller-McKenna child custody battle rages on, it’s helpful to reflect on your own case in context. The story illustrates how different courts can give radically different assessments in child custody cases.
To that end, if you haven’t yet retained a qualified, experienced California family law attorney, connect with the Dinnebier and Demmerle team today for a case evaluation.