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Settling child custody disputes

Residents of Cape May County who have worked through a child custody dispute are likely aware of the challenges couples may face as they try to settle a custody arrangement. Parents simply want what is best for their children. However, they may have differing opinions on just what that is.

New Jersey readers are likely familiar with Bristol Palin, the daughter of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. She was in the news recently after the father of her 3-year-old son, Levi Johnston, publicly announced that he is seeking custody of the child.

Palin announced her pregnancy during her mother's run for vice president in 2008. She and Johnston were engaged twice, but are no longer together. Palin currently has primary custody of her son. Johnston is allowed to visit the child.

However, after watching Palin's new reality show, "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp," Johnston says he plans to seek full or partial custody of his son. He says he is concerned about his son's behavior and worried that Palin is not a fit parent. Palin admitted on the show that she has trouble disciplining her son.

It is unknown how this specific custody case will turn out. However, it shows how contentious child custody disputes can be.

As people in Cape May County look to settle their own child custody cases, they should remember that a child remains at the center of the dispute. A child custody arrangement should be fair for everyone involved. Most importantly, it should be settled with a child's best interests in mind.

Source: ABC News, "Bristol Palin's 'Life's a Tripp' Reportedly Prompts Levi Johnston to Consider Full Custody of Son," Aug. 7, 2012

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