Bill O’Reilly Loses NY Child Custody Case

March 2, 2016

Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly recently lost a high-profile child custody case in New York when an appeals court ruled against him.

The case revolved around an earlier decision involving parental rights after O’Reilly and his ex-spouse, Maureen McPhilmy got divorced. In 2015, a Nassau County Supreme Court justice ruled that O’Reilly’s ex-wife should be granted sole custody over the former couple’s kids. Now a New York appeals court has upheld the earlier ruling.

As a result of the decision, the kids, who are now 13 years old and 17 years old, respectively, will live full-time with McPhilmy. Up until this point, they had been living with both parents under a shared residential custody arrangement while O’Reilly appealed the earlier ruling.

A major factor in the custody case was the preference of O’Reilly’s children, who told the family court judge that they preferred to live exclusively with their mother, not their father. In fact, the four justices presiding over the appeals court, which is located in Brooklyn Heights, NY, specifically referenced the “clearly stated preferences of the children.”

Ultimately, the court said, “it is in the best interests of the children for the mother to be awarded primary residential custody.” Moreover, noted the court, the preferences of the children took on particular importance because of “their age and maturity,” as well as “the quality of the home environment provided by the mother.”

Bill O’Reilly’s ability to provide a stable home environment came into question when one of the children, the former couple’s 17-year-old daughter, testified that she saw her father violently abuse her mother and drag her down a staircase by the neck.

Although O’Reilly and McPhilmy were referred to in court documents as “Anonymous,” the party names became a matter of public record due to the high-profile nature of the case and the resulting media coverage.

For more information about this NY divorce case, read the Gawker.com article, “Bill O’Reilly Loses Custody of Children in New York Court Ruling.”

If you are considering filing for divorce in New York, you need to speak with a qualified divorce attorney before making any final decisions about how to proceed. Jonathan D. Katz is an experienced divorce lawyer who is ready to protect your rights throughout the divorce process. Contact Mr. Katz today to schedule a free consultation about your case.

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