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Is child custody battle brewing between Levi Johnston and Palin?

Many in Texas may have heard about the reality television show titled "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp," staring Bristol Palin and her son Tripp with former boyfriend Levi Johnston, even if they have not watched it. Apparently Mr. Johnston is watching the show as he has reportedly taken steps to seek custody of his son after watching some of the antics on the show.

As many may recall, the couple did not have an amicable split and Mr. Johnston has actually accused the Palins, including Sarah Palin, of trying to keep him away from his own son. Now he has reportedly stopped by a courthouse in his home state of Alaska to collect the required paperwork in which to file for custody of the child. It was not immediately known whether Mr. Johnston has retained the services of a family law attorney in the case.

The young father is said to be "disgusted" by the behavior of his son on the show and has concerns about how his son is being raised and the environment in which he is subjected. Some in Texas may have heard of a few of the more notorious episodes including the one in which the 3-year-old was thought to have used a gay slur and another in which he may have used a curse word. However, enforcing a father's rights can sometimes be an uphill battle when it comes showing evidence the other parent is unfit.

The court will consider what is in the best interest of the child, which will include the custodial parent's mental capacity and physical health when evaluating whether or not the child's home environment is stable. The courts will look for evidence of mental or physical abuse and will also dive into possible drug or alcohol abuse of both parents. Just having the child acting out and using curse words may not be sufficient for a judge to change the custody of a child however; not all the facts may be aired on public television so it will be an interesting case to watch.

Child custody laws are different in every state and a number of factors are involved in each specific case. Requirements for requesting a change to or modification of a custody or support order vary from state to state, which is why it can be beneficial to consult with a family law attorney in your state who can explain the legal requirements for a successful petition.

Source: Reuters, "Levi Johnston Wants Custody of Son After Bristol Palin TV Show," Andrew Lu, Aug. 6, 2012

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