When parents make the painful decision to go their separate ways, their children often feel the effects of the decision for years afterwards. Legendary singer Paul Anka recently won sole custody of his 11-year-old son after a long child custody and support battle with his ex-wife, former Miss Sweden, Anna Berg. The court also ruled that Berg is not permitted to contact her child.
In child custody cases involving older children, the child may be permitted to testify regarding their custody preferences. They are typically asked to describe their relationship with both of their parents and explain which parent they would like to live with and why. In Anka's case, his son expressed a deep dislike for his mother, which encouraged the California court to grant custody to his father.
While Anka is happy and says that his son will be protected now, Berg's lawyers are in strong disagreement with the decision. Berg's attorney argued that Anka turned his son against his mother and that family reunification was necessary to reunite the mother and son. However, Berg did not do herself any favors when she yelled at Anka's new wife outside the courtroom.
Determining child custody is always difficult, particularly when the parents don't get along. However, courts will always look at all the facts and do whatever is in the best interest of the child. In addition to the child's preferences, courts may consider various other factors when making their decision. For example, courts are more likely to award physical custody to a parent who can be responsible for the child's day-to-day lives, such as getting them ready for school, helping with homework and driving them to after-school activities. Ideally, courts will grant joint legal custody so that both parents can be involved when it comes to making major decisions involving the child. However, if the court finds that one parent is a danger or detriment to the child, they may take action to keep them away from the child.
Source: Fox News, "Paul Anka wins custody of his 11-year-old son from Miss Sweden Anna Berg," Richard Johnson, July 3, 2017