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Uma Thurman Sued by Ex-Fiance Over Custody of Daughter

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on October 15, 2014 12:11 PM

Uma Thurman's former fiance Arpad Busson has filed suit for custody of the couple's 2-year old daughter.

Busson, a French financier, and Thurman, an actress known for her roles in "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill," called off their wedding in April, reports the New York Daily News. Now Busson has filed papers in a New York court seeking custody of the couple's daughter Rosalind.

Although the records in this case are sealed, how is child custody between unmarried parents generally determined?

Custody Between Unmarried Parents

Generally, when the parents of a child are unmarried, the mother of the child will be awarded sole physical custody unless the father takes action to get custody. Physical custody refers to providing care for the child on a daily basis, including necessities like food and shelter.

Legal custody, on the other hand, refers to the ability to make important decisions in a child's life such as those regarding the child's education, medical care, and religious instruction. Parents of a child be may agree to (or be awarded by a court) joint or sole legal custody, joint or sole physical custody, or any combination thereof.

Best Interests of the Child

In New York, where the custody battle between Thurman and Busson is taking place, custody is generally determined by a legal standard known as the best interests of the child. This means that the court will weigh a number of factors in deciding what custody arrangement will be most likely to provide the child with happiness, security, and health. The factors typically weighed by the court include:

  • The wishes of the child;
  • Religious/cultural considerations;
  • Other children who may be relevant to the custody arrangement;
  • Opportunities for interaction with the child's extended family; and
  • Evidence of parental drug, alcohol, or child abuse.

A representative for Thurman said in a statement reported by the Daily News that the actress was "optimistic that a fair agreement for both sides will be reached out of court."

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