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Appeals court upholds Bill O'Reilly's child custody agreement

Most people in Oregon now agree that, barring any extenuating circumstances, shared physical custody is often ideal for a child's best interests. But what exactly are those extenuating circumstances anyway? A variety of factors can affect a child custody agreement, including a parent's physical location or their state of health. Bill O'Reilly -- a well-known host on Fox News -- had his child custody agreement affected by allegations of domestic violence.

O'Reilly lost custody of his 13 and 17-year-old children based on testimony provided by the eldest. Although the custody battle was listed as confidential, leaked documents revealed that the 17-year-old girl had confided in a forensic examiner that her father had never expressed interest in developing any type of relationship. She also described him as a mostly absent parent and recalled an instance when she claimed that her father had dragged her mother by the neck down a flight of stairs.

The news host appealed the original custody decision and further stated that none of his daughter's statements were true. Whether her recollections of his actions as father were valid or not, the appeals court ultimately ruled that O'Reilly should only have visitation with his children on alternating weekends. The court cited not only the children's personal preferences in making this decision, but also its own perception of the situation, stating that it was ultimately in the children's best interests to remain in the primary care of their mother.

Parents can typically negotiate their own child custody agreement through mediation, although this is not always the case. Families in Oregon are unique and diverse, and their needs can be just as varied. When parents are unable to reach any type of agreement regarding a child custody agreement, it can be necessary to go before a judge who will be tasked with making the final decision to determine exactly what is in a child's best interests.

Source: The Washington Times, "Bill O'Reilly loses custody of his children in court battle", Jessica Chasmar, March 2, 2016

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