Law Offices of Matthew S. Schultz, P.C.

Bode Miller's child custody battle addresses difficult issues

Once a woman becomes pregnant, does she lose the right to relocate? A judge on the east coast thought so when he ruled against the mother of Bode Miller's child at a child custody hearing. The judge awarded custody of the pair's son to Miller. An appellate court overturned that judge's decision, and the child is back with his mother -- at least through a child custody hearing scheduled for Dec. 9.

Arizona fans of the Olympics may remember gold medal skier Bode Miller. His relationship with the mother of his child was brief but did produce a child. During her pregnancy, the woman decided to move to the east coast in order to better herself and provide a better life for her and her unborn child. The judge, however, felt that she moved only to try to gain some legal advantage over Miller in terms of custody.

Women's rights groups rallied around the mother, arguing that it was unconscionable to dictate the movements of a pregnant woman. At the same time, there does need to be some consideration of a father's right to see his child. Miller's counsel even acknowledged that Miller was never trying to restrict the mother from relocating; rather, he only wants to be part of his child's life.

In some child custody cases, it is more difficult to discern the right decision and balance the rights of both parents. Nevertheless, judges in Arizona and around the country face this decision daily. In the end, it may be more about what is in the best interests of the child than what the parents may prefer that wins the day.

Source:, Miller's child custody case becomes women's-rights cause, No author, Nov. 30, 2013

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