Levi Johnston is looking to change the child custody arrangement he has with Bristol Palin, the mother of his son Tripp. He wants to modify custody conditions so that he and the mother share at least equal custody.
Readers may recall that Johnston and Palin came into the national limelight back in 2008, just as Palin's mother, Sarah, had gotten the nod to be the Republican candidate for Vice President. The pair were both teens, unmarried, and Bristol was pregnant. Tripp was born and is now 4.
Palin and Johnston have been operating under an agreement that goes back to 2010. Her attorney at the time confirmed then that the plan was for them to share legal custody, while she retained primary physical custody. Johnston agreed to pay child support and was granted visitation rights.
Since then, the Johnston-Palin relationship had disintegrated and he has gone on to marry and has a daughter with his wife. In making his filing for a modification on custody of Tripp last month, Johnston explained only that he wants the boy to be in the lives of both parents equally.
Grandmother Sarah Palin isn't hot on the idea. She's been recorded telling TMZ that Johnston is a deadbeat dad and offering the opinion that he doesn't stand a chance of winning any change in custody status. Indeed, Bristol Palin's current attorney says that Alaska state officials have reported that Johnston owes around $66,000 in unpaid back support for Tripp.
There are bound to be details of this case that will only come out in the course of the petition for modification being heard. Pending the results of that action, it would be a mistake to try to speculate on how things will turn out. On the plus side, Johnston perhaps deserves credit for seeking to exercise his rights in protection of his relationship with his son.
Source: BigStory.AP.org, "Johnston Files Petition for Custody of Son Tripp," Becky Bohrer, Nov. 7, 2013