Actor trying to gain custody of 4-year-old son
Illinois fans of actor Jason Patric may have heard that he is involved in a dispute over custody of his 4-year-old son. Patric was attempting to obtain joint custody, but the Los Angeles Superior Court denied his claim because the child was born through artificial insemination and he is considered to be a sperm donor. Furthermore, the court found that he and the child's mother had no agreement that he would be involved in the child's upbringing.
Currently, the mother has full custody of the child, and Patric has not seen him in more than a year. He says that the mother has not spoken to him in two years. He is challenging the court's decision and was scheduled to appear before an appeals panel on May 8.
Through his non-profit organization, Patric is supporting rights for parents who have also been denied custody and is campaigning on behalf a statue that would provide parental rights to sperm donors. On April 25, he donated $100,000 to the Levitt Quinn Family Law Center. A representative from the center said that many people in family law cases go to court without a lawyer. The money will help provide legal assistance to those who cannot afford it.
In Illinois, fathers' rights are the same as the rights of mothers so long as they have taken steps to establish paternity. A father can file for physical and legal custody of his child. Even if a father does not have full physical custody of the child, he can, in most cases, still be granted visitation rights, and if parents share legal custody, the father can make decisions regarding the child's upbringing. A DNA test may need to be used to establish that a man is the father of a child.
Source: KABC, "Actor Jason Patric donates $100K to family law center", Miriam Hernandez , May 25, 2014