Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

Bill O'Reilly Accused of Domestic Abuse in Custody Battle

Divorce battles are nasty. However, it seems like celebrity divorces take the nastiness to a whole other level.

Bill O'Reilly and his ex-wife, Maureen McPhilmy, divorced back in 2011. However, their custody battle has dragged out for three long bitter years. Recently specific allegations have surfaced. Allegedly, O'Reilly's daughter witnessed her father dragging McPhilmy down a staircase by the neck. Reports also claim that O'Reilly tried to use his influence with the Nassau County Police Department to investigate McPhilmy and her new beau, a Nassau County Police detective.

Weirdest of all, O'Reilly apparently also tried to get McPhilmy excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.

With allegations of domestic violence, harassment, and attempts at excommunication, the Nassau County Supreme Court has finally ended the dispute. McPhilmy gets custody of the couple's two minor children.

Custody Order

Since the court documents in this case have been sealed, meaning they are confidential and not open to the public, there are few details about O'Reilly's custody order. We know that McPhilmy was granted custody.

However, there are two types of custody, legal and physical. It is not clear if the parents share legal and McPhilmy has full physical, or if McPhilmy has won full legal and physical custody.

Legal custody

Legal custody gives a parent the right to make decisions concerning a child's upbringing and welfare including, education, religion, and medical care. Usually courts will award both parents joint legal custody unless there is a finding that one parent is unfit or incapable of making proper decisions for the child's welfare.

Physical custody

Physical custody is given to the parent that the child lives with on a daily basis. The other parent gets visitation rights. Sometimes parents will agree to joint physical custody. In the case of joint physical custody, the child spends more time with each parent. So instead of visitation every other weekend with dad, a child may spend one week with mom and one week with dad.

Whatever O'Reilly and McPhilmy's custody arrangement turns out to be, hopefully O'Reilly can put the nasty back in the closet for the sake of his kids' welfare.

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