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M.I.A.'s custody dispute will be open to public record

Known for her hit single "Paper Planes" from 2008, singer M.I.A. has enjoyed a very successful music career. Many Broward County residents may think that her success in the music industry would translate to a happy personal life; but M.I.A. has been dealing with a tumultuous divorce since 2012, and her 4-year-old is caught in the middle of it.

A few months ago, a U.S. court ruled that M.I.A., who is British, is not allowed to take her 4-year-old out of the country. This ruling was made because her ex-husband filed a restraining order against her. M.I.A. did everything she could to keep this contentious dispute private, but her appeal to a court in New York failed. Her custody dispute will see a public trial now.

However, M.I.A. has not run out of legal options, as she has filed an appeal in England to try to take her 4-year-old back to her native country. In her appeal, M.I.A. referenced international child custody protocols from the 1996 Hague Convention.

This story is important for a couple of reasons. The first is that child custody can be very complicated to initially agree on. For example, in this story, you have two people who live in different countries. Differing (and often contradictory) laws can muddle an already contentious situation. It requires a skilled family law attorney to support the spouses in their endeavor to reach a child custody agreement.

After the agreement is finalized, modifications can be made. For example, say the divorced parents of a child live in the same city for a while after the divorce. They have a custody and visitation schedule that works. But then, one of the parents receives a job offer in another state.

A new custody and visitation schedule can be drawn up in order to better reflect the new life situations of the parents and their child.

Source: SFGate.com, "M.I.A. loses bid to keep child custody dispute private," May 23, 2013

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