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Gold medal downhill skier involved in uphill custody battle

As of this moment, hundreds of athletes around the globe are busy training for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi. However, at least one U.S. athlete is not only making the necessary preparations to compete, but also seeking to resolve a longstanding custody dispute with the mother of his 9-month-old son.

According to reports, gold medal skier Bode Miller and his former girlfriend, Sara McKenna, are currently locked in a rather hostile child custody battle dating back to when McKenna was still pregnant.

Specifically, Miller, 36, has long claimed that McKenna, 27, moved from California to New York last December while still in her third trimester in order to take advantage of a court system that might be more considerate of her situation.

McKenna, however, maintains that the cross-country move was motivated by nothing more than her desire to attend graduate school at Columbia University, something made possible by the G.I. bill and her former service as a U.S. Marine.

This past spring, the former couple's custody dispute came before a family court referee in New York City who ruled that the case should be sent back to California and chided McKenna for leaving without first reaching a co-parenting agreement with Miller.

The case then went before a California judge who proceeded to award primary custody of the baby to Miller and his wife.

While this appeared to be the end of the matter, a New York Appellate Court eventually heard McKenna's appeal and ruled last month that not only that her rights had been violated, but that New York was the proper jurisdiction for the case given that the baby had been born there and was considered a state resident.

In recent developments, the matter came before the same family court referee in New York City on November 25, who proceeded to schedule the custody hearing for next Monday so as to give both sides more time to prepare. In the meantime, the referee indicated that the baby could stay with McKenna.

It should be very interesting to see how this matter unfolds. While both sides have expressed a willingness to reach a co-parenting agreement, they are nevertheless making some very strong assertions as to why they should be awarded primary physical custody.

Stay tuned for developments ...

Remember, child custody-related matters can often prove to be complex and emotionally charged. If faced with such a difficult scenario, an experienced family law attorney here in Texas can provide answers and support, as well as the necessary action.

Source: NBC News, "Olympic skier Bode Miller loses round in battle over custody of baby son," Victoria Cavaliere, Nov. 25, 2013

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