There is no question that divorce is an emotionally difficult process. However, in the face of public scrutiny, the procedure can be all the more trying. California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer is currently facing such an uphill battle. The treasurer recently filed for divorce from his wife. Lockyer's wife resigned earlier this year from her position on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors after her problems with substance abuse and marital problems became public knowledge.
Lockyer now seeks joint custody of his 9-year-old son. The state of California considers best interests of the child when determining child custody in divorce cases. Lockyer's arguments seem to align with such policy. He has stated he wants all matters taken care of with the best interest of his son in mind. He also wants the divorce to be handled as privately as possible.
However, the couple's personal troubles are already in public light and as such, the hope for privacy may be unrealistic. The couple's troubles were made public last February when Lockyer's wife claimed she was assaulted in a hotel room by a former boyfriend. Then, in April, she resigned her seat on the Board and enrolled in a substance abuse program. Ms. Lockyer told reporters she plans to move to Southern California with her son to be closer to family.
In a divorce involving child custody, there are two main types of custody that need to be considered. Legal custody is the right of a parent to make decisions pertaining to a child's medical care and education. Physical custody is a parent's right to actually provide day-to-day care to the child. The potential move to Southern California may affect the physical custody rights of Mr. Lockyer.
The complicated considerations of divorce can be difficult to address. Specifically, questions of child custody and support are often hard fought by spouses. Hopefully the Lockyers will be spared such a battle and the two will find a beneficial solution to their custody dispute.
Source: Mercury News, "State treasurer seeks divorce amid public troubles," July 16, 2012