Last Aug. 28, we reported on a child custody case involving Jason Patric ("How will future generations define a parent?"), who sought to have his rights to his artificially conceived child protected several months ago. The actor lost in his first attempt to be awarded the right to be with his son. After months of court battles, he has won his appeal in a hard-fought custody dispute for his son. As an earlier report suggested, this new decision could potentially affect the way parenthood is interpreted in cases throughout the country, including here in Maryland.
The actor's battle for custody rights may have far-reaching implications for many who have also had children through less than conventional methods. At the time of the in-vitro procedure, the actor was named as one of two potential parents on the official documents required before the procedure is performed. At that time, Mr. Patric allegedly consented, although he did not want the agreement made public. However, he did not formally sign away his parental rights.
Shortly after the child was born, Mr. Patric had a change of heart and was said to have formed a close relationship with his son. In fact, the parents spent considerable time together before the mother reportedly had a change of heart of her own and attempted to shut the father out of the child's life. A judge in the original custody filing ruled that, while he may not have agreed with the laws as they were currently written, custody would be awarded to the mother. It is important to remember, however, that this a California case, and it is not clear how other judges may rule in their districts.
With the recent reversal on the part of the appeals court, the actor is said to have possibly set a new precedent for similar cases going forward. As a result of the child custody decision, he will now have the opportunity to claim paternity of the child. While this portion of this actor's custody dispute may have been resolved, for many families in Maryland, the matter of child custody issues may still be undetermined. There are knowledgeable resources to assist these families in making the best decisions possible for them as well as for their children, regardless of how they came into being.
Source: contactmusic.com, "Jason Patric's Custody Win Sets Precedent In Family Law", Victoria Pavlova, May 16, 2014