Arguments over children during divorce discussions are common, and sometimes complex. California has many laws and procedures in place to assist in the guidance of legal rights and obligations, for parents and other family members, in divorce cases. Occasionally a situation can still arise that is highly unusual, such as the case between celebrity Sherri Shepherd and her estranged husband, Lamar Sally, who are in dispute over the issue of both custody and child support for their unborn child.
Shepherd, a former host on ABC’s daytime talk show “The View,” and Sally entered into a contract with a surrogate mother to carry a child for them. The child, conceived by means of a donor egg and Sally’s sperm, is due to be born very soon. It has been reported that, during the early stages of their divorce negotiations, Shepherd had indicated that she would pursue full custody of the unborn child. It is now being reported that Shepherd no longer wishes to be listed as the baby’s mother and is, in addition, protesting against paying child support.
Shepherd maintains that Sally inveigled her into agreeing to a surrogate pregnancy with the full intention of divorcing her, and as a means to secure child support payments for himself. The situation is further complicated by each party’s papers being filed in different states; Shepherd’s in New Jersey and Sally’s in California. New Jersey’s laws do not, as a rule, acknowledge surrogate parent agreements, where California’s rules are substantially different.
It is rare to come across such complicated events, and the arguments over child support payments may be protracted and time-consuming. When more than one state is involved, the differing laws of each must be taken into account, and a clear understanding of those laws is indispensable. Most importantly, at the heart of everything is the best interest of a child as yet unborn, whose future is still unresolved.
Source: hollywoodlife.com, “Sherri Shepherd Wants To Abandon Surrogate Baby – Report”, hollywoodlifeintern, July 7, 2014