In a well publicized dispute, the actor Jason Patric recently lost a court battle for joint custody of a child he fathered with Danielle Schreiber. A family law court in L.A. Superior Court sided with the child's mother and found that Patric was solely a sperm donor, and that the couple had no further agreement to enter into a joint child custody arrangement.
Patric says the mother of the 4-year-old boy has not spoken to him in over two years. He also claims that he has not seen the boy in 62 weeks. In response to the decision, Patric is appealing the ruling which is scheduled for hearings panel on May 8 at the state appellate court. Patric has also recently donated $100,000 through his charity, "Stand up for Gus," to a Family Law Center which helps low-income families who are unable to pay for representation. According to a spokesperson for that agency, more than half of the children in California will go through a family law case at some point and over 80 percent of the families involved in those cases will not be represented by legal counsel.
Patric is also sponsoring a state statute which would provide rights for sperm donors. The move has sparked some opposition from gay and lesbian rights proponents who argue that such a law would enable sperm donors to hold too much sway in decisions regarding the raising of the child.
As this case illustrates, sometimes fighting for parental rights can be an arduous task. In most California counties, parents are required to first undergo custody mediation, now called Custody Counseling, before a court hearing. If you are currently facing difficulty with your child's other parent regarding custody issues you need someone on your side who is willing to argue forcefully on your behalf during that meeting. Don't be denied the right to remain in your child's life.
Source: ABC 7, "Actor Jason Patric donates $100K to family law center" Miriam Hernandez, Apr. 25, 2014