Basketball player Paul George is seeking to move a custody hearing involving a two-month old child to Florida. According to court documents, a prenatal paternity test indicated with 99.9 percent probability that the child is George's daughter. George is seeking additional DNA testing because of misgivings about the methodology used to perform the initial test. If these tests confirm paternity, George will be seeking sole custody of the child.
George maintains that joint custody would not be in the child's best interests because he has the resources to best care for the child on a day-to-day basis. His custody petition alleges that the mother is incapable of caring for the infant because she is unemployed and is not seeking employment. If the child is determined to be his biological daughter, he is petitioning for limited contact between the child and her mother. If he is not awarded sole custody, the basketball star is asking the court to award child support in an amount that is less than Florida's child support guidelines.
The mother of the child, who is currently living with the child in New York City, has also filed for sole custody of the child, stating that George's travel schedule as a professional sports player would interfere with his ability to parent adequately. The mother's lawyer has stated publicly that the mother is unemployed because she is caring for the infant and that the language used in George's petition is insulting to women.
Family court judges have broad discretion to award custody as they see fit, and increasingly, the trend throughout the United States has been to award parents who don't live together some form of joint custody. Custody determinations are complex, and fathers facing custody issues may benefit from the guidance and counsel of an experienced family law attorney.
Source: IndyStar, "Pacers' Paul George seeks sole custody of child", June 30, 2014