As many unmarried parents in Virginia already know, child custody is not only an issue for people who get divorces. Bristol Palin, daughter of 2008 republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has never been married, but she can expect a family court to rule on the arrangement of custody for her second child.
The purported father, a former Marine decorated with the Medal of Honor for service in Afghanistan, has filed a lawsuit in pursuit of joint legal custody and shared physical custody. According to his court filings, he believes himself to be the biological father of Palin’s second child. She had been planning a wedding with him, but they canceled the wedding one week before its scheduled date. This relationship and the fact that she announced her pregnancy one month after canceling the wedding were cited by the Marine as reasons for claiming paternity.
Palin has not responded publicly about the custody issue. A lawyer for her family was not willing to comment either. Social media accounts for both Palin and the father indicated happiness about the birth of the child. The custody lawsuit did not broach the subject of child support, although a family court might choose to address the topic.
Typically, a family court welcomes the involvement of both parents in the life of a child. Even so, a parent might desire the assistance of an attorney when preparing to file for child custody. An attorney could prepare documentation showing that the parent has the financial resources and emotional willingness to care for the child. Additionally, the parent could consult with the attorney about parenting rights and how a court might apply a formula when calculating child support.
Source: ABC News, “Dakota Meyer Seeks Joint Custody of Child With Bristol Palin”, Mark Thiessen, Associated Press, Jan. 6, 2016