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Halle Berry's ex files for joint custody of daughter

After splitting up in the spring, Halle Berry's ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry has decided to file for joint custody of the couple's only child.

The petition was filed late last month, and asks for joint physical and legal custody of 2-year-old daughter Nahla, and to officially declare Aubry as the father of the child. According to sources, Aubry decided to file for child custody in order to keep and protect his right's as a father.

And while this story deals with celebrities, and no court decision has been made yet, it does shed light onto a battle that many men have to fight when they want joint or full custody of their children.

Locally, in Missouri the courts have changed the stance from a mother always being granted custody, and are now instead looking at what would be in the best interest of the child and who can better care for that child. Because of this, joint custody - which is what Aubry is asking for - is now a more common occurrence.

In terms of custody there are also two types: physical and legal. The parent with physical custody is where the child will live. It is common for the child to live with one parent, yet have visitation with the other parent. Under these circumstances the parent the child lives with is considered the custodial parent, while the parent with visitation rights is called the noncustodial parent.

In terms of the legal custody portion, this means having the power to make decisions in a child's life, like religious upbringings, education and/or healthcare.

Considering that Aubry has filed for joint physical and legal custody, he would like to be a part of his daughter's life both by physically being able to spend time with her, and also having a say in major decisions that will occur in her life as she grows up.

Source: Fox News, "Halle Berry Could Face Battle As Ex Files for Custody of Daughter," 19 Jan 2011

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