Not all child custody situations take place between former spouses. Sometimes, people raise children who are not their biological parents, and many families live in single-parent households as well. In California and elsewhere, family law problems regarding such circumstances are often very complex and difficult to resolve.

A new movie starring popular child actress, McKenna Grace, tells the story of a contentious child custody battle between a single man (who, in the story, is the uncle of the child in question) and his own mother (the child’s grandmother). The single man has been raising his child prodigy niece, following his sister’s death. The girl’s mother took her own life because she couldn’t cope with living life as a mathematical genius.

The little girl appears to have the same intellectual skills as her mother. After home-schooling her for awhile, he decides to send her to school; however, her teacher soon recognizes her superior abilities and suggests sending her to a high-class private school. The child’s grandmother gets involved and fights her son for custody. An acrimonious dispute rages in court regarding what, exactly, is in the child’s best interests.

This is a fictional story, yet it is not unlike many family law situations in California and throughout the nation. Such matters often take extensive time to resolve, with careful consideration by the court. Of course, an essential part of the process is an experienced attorney, who is often a great asset to have on one’s side when navigating the court system in regard to a challenging custody issue such as the one featured in this film.

Source: The New York Times, “Review: A ‘Gifted’ Girl at the Center of a Custody Battle“, April 6, 2017