Custody Wars

Fans know Ewan McGregor as Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Star War actor has reportedly filed for divorce from his wife of 22 years, and may now be facing a menacing custody battle. How is custody decided when spouses can’t agree to share the children?

Jedi Mind Tricks Don’t Work

Citing “irreconcilable differences” the former Jedi master has requested joint custody of the couple’s three minor children. Ewan has also reportedly said he was “willing to pay spousal support.

His wife however, Eve Mavrakis, was not so easily swayed. She immediately filed response in Los Angeles Superior Court. In her answer, Mavrakis reportedly is requesting sole custody of the children, and only offering visitation rights for McGregor.

Florida Custody

Questions about an award of sole custody or joint custody of children frequently comes up a lot. The subject is also a matter I’ve written about before.

Many people are surprised to learn that the term “custody” (whether joint or sole) are concepts no longer recognized in Florida.

Florida replaced the “custody” term for the “parenting plan” concept in order to avoid labeling parents as “visiting parent” or “primary parent”. The ‘new hope’ of the change in law was to try and make child custody issues less controversial.

Under Florida’s parenting plan concept, both parents enjoy shared parental responsibility and a time-sharing schedule.

“Shared parental responsibility” means both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities, and have to confer with each other so that major decisions affecting their child are made jointly.

A time-sharing schedule, as the name suggests, is simply a timetable that is included in the parenting plan that specifies the times, including overnights and holidays, that your child spends with each parent.

Florida’s parenting plan concept has changed the sole custody term into “sole parental responsibility.” The term means that only one parent makes decisions regarding the minor child, as opposed to the shared parental responsibility terms, where both parents make decisions jointly.

The Phantom Menace

The couple reportedly separated in May 2017, but only announced they were breaking up in October as People magazine reported.  McGregor was spotted cozying up with his much younger “Fargo” co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead in October. And, during McGregor’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Awards earlier this month he thanked the two women.

Not surprisingly, Winstead announced she was breaking up with her spouse too. Not that it matters, given the no-fault jurisdiction, but if the last Jedi’s force was awakened by a new relationship, there may be grounds for the divorce.

The Fox article is available here.