Living in the public spotlight is often the price one has to pay for being a champion in his or her chosen field. For a sportsperson, constant competition is not unusual; however, one would hope that competition would not enter one’s private life. When a child custody dispute arises for such an individual, it may cause more disruption than in the lives of most California residents.
Belarusian-born tennis player Victoria Azarenka, with a former number-one world ranking, gave birth to a son at the end of last year. She returned to the sport and competed at Wimbledon during the summer this year. Shortly after her return home from that competition, she split from her boyfriend, the father of her son. Her ex is reported to have filed custody papers shortly before Azarenka canceled her plans to compete in the Stanford Classic tournament recently, although Azarenka reportedly cited a virus as her reason for withdrawing.
Custody of Azarenka’s son was temporarily granted to his father, possibly due to him having American citizenship. The parents are reported to have reached an agreement on visitation and custody, though there are restrictions that do not allow Azarenka to take her son outside of California, which affects her ability to compete in tournaments outside of her home state. It has been reported that she offered to pay expenses for a judge to accompany her and her son to New York for the U.S Open, but this was not allowed. Azarenka is, understandably, unwilling to travel without her son.
While most California residents would not experience such problems, there may be reasons for traveling outside of one’s home state, such as for work or emergencies. The determination of child custody arrangements depends on each parent’s circumstances and will be affected by a number of factors. Seeking the appropriate advice is advisable, in order to ensure that what happens is in the best interest of the child.
Source: tennis.life, “Victoria Azarenka living a nightmare as custody battle looms (updated)“, Stephanie Myles, Aug. 10, 2017