Berman & Asbel, LLP

Halle Berry denied move to France in child custody case

When parents end their relationship, a number of issues surrounding their shared child or children can arise. Many family law practitioners will attest that child custody cases can become the most heavily litigated and highly contentious cases that go before a court. Many in Pennsylvania may be following the recent child custody battles between actress Halle Berry and her former boyfriend. The two only recently ended a child custody proceeding, but were back in court again to argue over where the child will reside.

The actress is engaged to marry a French actor, and recently approached the court to request permission to relocate with her daughter to her fiancé's country of origin. She expressed fear for her safety and that of her child due to the fact that two men who have threatened and stalked her in the past are now free from jail. She felt that the move would provide a safer environment for her daughter.

However, the child's father argued that the move was intended as a punitive measure against him. He stated that Berry wanted to move in order to limit his access to his daughter. The judge, after hearing both arguments, ruled that Berry will have to remain in the United States for now. There is no report on whether she has been prohibited from travelling abroad with her child, or if she is simply unable to change her residence to a foreign country.

For parents who have undergone a difficult child custody battle, the need of the custodial parent to relocate can bring both parties back in front of a Pennsylvania court. In such cases, the parent who wishes to move must make a compelling legal argument that demonstrates that such a move would be in the best interests of the child or children involved. A parent who wishes to stop such a move must present a similarly structured argument, although slanted toward the reasons why the move would not be in the child's best interests. These hearings can be highly contentious and require a very well-documented and reasoned legal argument in order to achieve the desired result.

Source: ABC News Blogs, "Halle Berry Denied Move to France," Luchina Fisher, Nov. 12, 2012

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