Alabama Divorce and Family Law News: Sarah Palin’s Grandson in Middle of Child Custody Battle

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Dec 30, 2009 | 0 Comments

A fight over child custody can be a painful and wrenching experience for any family. As an Alabama family law attorney and divorce lawyer in the Birmingham area, I have seen the emotional torrent that swirls around all parties in hotly contested custody battles. In the case of former vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin's grandson, Tripp, hopefully the child's young age will at least spare him from most of the drama.

Recently, news agencies have been talking about the latest saga of Bristol Palin and her former boyfriend and fiancée, Levi Johnston. According to reports, Johnston has been on a so-called campaign against Alaska's former “first family” by revealing a variety of family secrets.

Regarding the recent custody case over young Tripp, public records from an Alaskan court have revealed a heated battle between Palin's daughter and the father of her grandson. Bristol Palin had asked the court to keep the proceedings closed, but that request was denied a Superior Court judge — a temporary order had authorized the use of pseudonyms while the court was considering the request, which stated that no good "could result to the child by an onslaught of media."

Johnston's stance was that he didn't feel protected against Sarah Palin in a closed setting. The father of one-year-old Tripp had been pushing for open court proceedings, saying he just wanted a simple case based on its merit. A qualified family law attorneycan be a great asset in cases not unlike this one

According to news articles, Bristol Palin had petitioned the court in early November last year, asking for sole custody as well as child support. The petition also requested a visitation schedule for Johnston, saying that the former fiance had exercised "sporadic visitation rights."

The eldest daughter of Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin's custody petition called Johnston's recent nude photo shoot for Playgirl magazine "risque." She also noted that the man's mother, Sherry Johnston, should not be allowed unsupervised visits with the baby following her drug arrest. Sherry Johnston, who is reportedly serving a three-year sentence under home confinement, was again sentenced last month on a guilty plea to one count of possession with intent to deliver the painkiller OxyContin.

In a motion opposing closed proceedings, Johnston's attorney argued that Bristol Palin had not shown what sort of evidence could stigmatize the child. The lawyer said that the Palin-Johnston case has similar facts that accompany open child custody cases every day in the Alaskan court system.

Bristol Palin seeks full custody of baby, MSN.com, December 29, 2009

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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