Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law

Alan Grayson claims joint child custody is not working

When high-profile couples decide to go their separate ways, it is not uncommon for breakups to be highly contentious. Massachusetts readers may be aware of the bitter fight involving the U.S. Representative Alan Grayson and his former wife. The couple agreed to an annulment after it came to light that his wife Lolita was never divorced from a former husband when she married Grayson in 1990. In an ongoing legal fight, filled with hostility, Alan Grayson recently filed a claim to obtain child custody of their four minor children.

The couple has five children, four of whom are underage and part of the child custody dispute. Although it is commonly believed that shared child custody benefits all parties, Alan Grayson claims that it is not a viable option in his case. According to court papers, he wants to handle all decisions related to the medical issues, activities and education of the 10-year-old twins and the two teenagers, ages 14 and 16.

Alan Grayson alleges that his former wife is abusive toward the children and claims that she is providing inadequate care. She allegedly spends child support money on herself and sometimes refuses him access to the children. During the annulment proceedings last April, Lolita Grayson apparently asked that parental responsibilities be shared. According to Alan Grayson, that arrangement has not been successful.

Massachusetts couples who are considering divorce may benefit from retaining the services of experienced divorce attorneys. Such professionals are familiar with the issues that may cause disputes, such as child custody. By addressing contentious matters before filing for divorce -- even if divorce mediation is required -- traumatic and expensive litigation may be avoided. This may also ensure that the best interests of the children are protected rather than the interests of the parents.

Source: ABC News, "US Rep. Alan Grayson Wants Kids to Live With Him", Mike Schneider, June 2, 2015

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