Halle Berry’s child support and custody dispute gets specific

How an individual chooses to convey their personal appearance can say a lot about how they want to be viewed by others. People throughout Massachusetts select different styles for their hair, clothing and other visual features in order to best convey the images they want to express. Children often have definite ideas about how they want to look, though often, their desires are tempered by what their parents will allow.

A famous actress and her former partner have recently gotten into a messy dispute over what each can and cannot do to their daughter’s appearance. Halle Berry and her former partner, Gabriel Aubry, recently had representatives in court determining whether Aubry could have their 6-year-old daughter’s hair chemically straightened and lightened. Although a judge determined that neither Berry nor Aubry can change the girl’s hair, the issue does raise interesting questions about what parents may and may not do without the other’s consent.

Berry pays Aubry child support in order to care for their daughter when the child is in Aubry’s custody. According to this judge’s ruling, however, it seems that Aubry does not have full leeway regarding how he can use that money for the child’s care. Some decisions about raising a child must be made collectively between the child’s parents.

While in many cases parents must come together to make important decisions about topics such as a child’s schooling, medical care and religion, this case demonstrates that courts can require parents to work together on matters of apparently less significance. The form of custody that a parent exercises over a child, as well as whether they pay any child support for that child’s care, can factor into how collaborative parents have to be about child-focused decisions. Individuals who have questions about child support or decision-making regarding their kids can work with family law attorneys to address their specific legal needs.

Source: New Pittsburgh Courier, “Judge Orders Halle Berry’s Ex To Stop Straightening, Lightening Daughter’s Hair,” Ruth Manuel-Logan, Nov. 28, 2014

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