T.V. host David Tutera and his ex-partner Ryan Jurica reportedly split up after 10 years. According to an article in the L.A. Times, after initiating proceedings to end their domestic partnership, the two engaged in a heated battle over the future custody of their unborn twins. While still together, the couple transferred two embryos to a surrogate – one was biologically Tutera’s and the other was biologically Jurica’s. A court recently issued a temporary child custody order granting each parent custody of their own biological child. While this is more complicated than most child custody cases in San Diego, it involves the same fundamental procedures. For any child custody case, parents are encouraged to consult an experienced family law attorney with a proven record of competence and success.
In an earlier blog post, we reported on the couple’s break up and how each partner was seeking full custody of the unborn twins. In California, parents facing child custody decisions have several options. They may share custody or one of the parents may have primary custody. This is typically the most contentious issue to settle, since both parents usually want to spend as much time with their children as possible. Ideally, the parents will agree to an arrangement, which a judge must approve before it is official. If they cannot come to a mutually satisfactory arrangement, the court will impose a custody and visitation order.
Keep in mind that there are two types of custody: legal and physical custody. The parent with legal custody is the person who makes the significant decisions concerning the children, such as education, health care, and general welfare. But legal custody may be either joint – where both parents share the responsibilities and decision-making powers, or sole – where only one parent has the right and responsibility to make those decisions. Physical custody identifies the parent with whom the children live. Again, this arrangement may be either joint (where the children live with both parents) or primary (the children live primarily with one parent most of the time and visit the other).
In this case, it seems that the judge issued a temporary child custody order granting each parent custody of the individual twin. The twins are reported to be “half” sister and brother, by virtue of the surrogate’s eggs. During the custody process, it seems that both parties wanted to make sure that Tutera would have custody of his biological daughter and Jurica would have custody of his biological son. Tutera has stated that he hopes that some day the children will have a relationship with one another. Now, however, they will be living 3,000 miles apart, one with Tutera in L.A. and the other in Connecticut with Jurica.
Child custody issues are vitally important to the parents and children involved. The ultimate court order will impact the lives of the entire family going forward. Under the best of circumstances, parents will work together to reach an agreement in an amicable way. An experienced family law attorney can help make this happen. If you are confronting a child custody issue, be sure to contact a local family law attorney as soon as possible.
Parents with questions about child custody matters are encouraged to contact Doppelt & Forney. Mr. Doppelt is a knowledgeable family law attorney with more than 20 years of experience representing parents in Southern California. Doppelt & Forney serves clients in Linda Vista, Encinitas, Scripps Ranch, San Diego, and throughout Southern California. For a consultation with a dedicated family lawyer, contact Doppelt & Forney through the law firm’s website or give us a call toll-free at (800) ROY IS IT (769-4748).
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