As many people here in Arizona know, child custody cases can become a major source of contention. This can be especially true if the question of paternity and parental rights is at the center of the issue. But while some cases can find resolution in a state’s lower courts, some are not as simple and require the help of higher courts that may offer better guidance in the case.
This was certainly the case for actor Jason Patric who has been entangled in litigation for months trying to assert his parental rights. He filed a paternity claim shortly after he split with his girlfriend with whom he had conceived a son through in vitro fertilization in 2009. But because the couple was not married at the time of conception and no coparenting agreement was signed, the laws governing custody began to blur.
Although his ex-girlfriend had encouraged him initially to be a part of his son’s life, things changed when she was awarded sole legal custody of the boy. According to the courts and his ex-girlfriend, Patric was considered a sperm donor and therefore had no parental rights. His appeal of this decision was finally heard before a higher court, which reversed this decision.
Though this is a small victory in his fight for custody of his son, this does not mean that litigation is over for the 47-year-old actor. The higher court’s reversal simply means that the lower courts must take up the case again. In the end, the lower courts may not decide any differently, which would be a hard blow to Patric who said in earlier reports that he had developed a bond with his son when he was younger. It’s a case with no easy resolution though the hope is that one can be met that is in everyone’s best interest.
Source: People Magazine, “Jason Patric Wins Appeal of Custody Ruling Over His Biological Child,” Ken Lee, May 14, 2014