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Child custody disputes: the messier side of divorce

If you’ve ever gone through a divorce or know someone who has then you know how stressful this life event can be. Complicated issues and name calling can turn what could have been an amicable separation into an all-out war. Many times, the animosity felt between spouses during a bitter divorce never fully goes away and can sometimes even come back to haunt them later on in life.

This could be the case with television talk-show host Sherri Shepherd whose parenting skills are being called into question by her ex-husband of nearly three years. According to court documents, which were filed in Los Angeles in April, Jeff Tarpley, Shepherd’s ex-husband, is seeking full custody of the couple’s 9-year-old son. Tarpley claims that his ex-wife’s busy talk show schedule and time-consuming touring schedule have caused her to neglect their son.

Tarpley backs up his accusations by pointing out that the boy still wears Velcro shoes because he has not learned how to tie them yet. He also claims that his son suffers from poor hygiene and is doing poorly in school as well. Shepherd has fired back against these accusations though saying that Tarpley is “not capable of raising his son” and claims that he is an “absentee father” as well.

Just like child custody cases here in San Francisco, the family law judge in this case will need to sift through all of the he-said she-said in order to find out what is true. The judge will also need to keep in mind what is in the best interest of the child as well.

If Tarpley is found to be an absentee father and Shepherd’s busy work schedule is preventing her from caring for her son full time, then it’s possible that a joint custody arrangement would be better suited for the child’s situation. Of course we’ll have to wait until after the July 21 hearing to see if this will be the case for Shepherd and her ex.

Source: The Liberty Voice, “Sherri Shepherd Divorce Drama Gets Real,” Hal Banfield, May 18, 2014

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