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Olympian's custody dispute raises questions for pregnant mothers

When Lake County, Illinois, residents think of custody issues, they likely think of cases in which a child has already been born. However, a recent case involving Olympic skier Bode Miller raised questions about custody battles that began even before birth. At the heart of the case is Miller's ex-girlfriend, who became pregnant while they were dating.

Reportedly, the two dated in 2012 while they both lived on the West Coast. According to reports, Miller didn't learn that his ex-girlfriend was pregnant until he'd moved on to another relationship. The new relationship with a pro beach volleyball player resulted in his current marriage.

Miller's ex-girlfriend moved to the east coast while pregnant to attend university. Since she was a former Marine, her college was funded by the GI bill. The baby was born in Feb. 2013.

It was only after the baby was born that the woman learned that Miller had filed custody paperwork in her former state. What was shocking to many was that the paperwork, which was filed before the baby was born, was upheld by the judge. The judge moved the case back to Miller's state.

A custody battle is always difficult, but a dispute waged in a state that is across the country can be even more difficult. It seemed to some that the mother was being punished for moving out of state with an unborn child. A different court later overruled the judge, however, bringing the case back to the state where the mother resided, but the baby had already spent time in the father's custody.

According to reports, the parents have worked out a temporary custody arrangement that will take effect following the Olympics. The case, which is likely to become a more typical custody case going forward, brings up valuable considerations for parents of unborn children. Any soon-to-be parent might want to consider getting legal advice if there's any chance that one of the partners may be relocating during the pregnancy.

Source: Yahoo Shine, "Bode Miller’s Custody Case: What It Means for Pregnant Women Everywhere" Alice Gomstyn, Feb. 19, 2014

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