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August 23rd, 2012 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
A custody evaluator has recommended that the daughter of actress Halle Berry and model Gabriel Aubry “should not be separated from her father.”  Read about it here (Huffington Post, 8/22/12).

That throws a wrench into Berry’s widely publicized plans to take the little girl and decamp to Paris to live with her fiancé, Olivier Martinez.  Now, it should be obvious enough why Berry wants to move; she wants to live with her boyfriend and future husband.   But to the court she’s claiming that she doesn’t feel safe in the United States.  For one thing she had a stalker at one point who was jailed for the offense, but now he’s out and Berry says she’s anxious about him.  Also, there’s an inmate of a mental institution who allegedly threatened Berry’s life.  He briefly escaped six months ago, but has been back in custody since.  Why Berry believes he’s a threat to her is anyone’s guess.

Then there all those photographers.

The actress also cited concerns for her daughter’s safety, and believes that she’ll be better protected from the watchful eyes of the paparazzi, as French laws prohibit photographers from snapping unwanted photos, even if the celebrity is out in public.

Whatever anyone thinks of Berry’s claims, it’s her solution to the problem that’s at issue.  As we see in custody cases all too frequently, when Mom wants to move away, it seldom seems to occur to her or anyone else that she shouldn’t necessarily get her way.  Put another way, Berry wants to make her problem Aubry’s problem.  She wants to live with her fiance, which makes sense, but forcing Aubry to bear the consequences of her desire, by losing most of his contact with his daughter, doesn’t.  Forcing their daughter Nahla to lose huge swaths of time with her dad doesn’t either.

Fortunately, none of this was lost on the custody evaluator who as much as said the girl should stay with her father irrespective of what her mother does.  It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out that, if Berry wants to move, she should do so, but not allow the fact to disrupt the lives of her child or her ex.  In short, Aubry should get custody and Berry can come and go as she pleases.

That’s the rational approach; we’ll see what happens.

The custody evaluator wasn’t too thrilled with the instability to girl would potentially be exposed to in Berry’s care.  Berry’s currently aiming for her third husband, and who knows how long their relationship will last.  The evaluator seems unconvinced that she’s better prepared to provide security than is the girl’s father.

Stay tuned.

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