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Texas banker involved in stormy child custody battle

A Texas banker is involved in a stormy child custody battle with his ex-wife in a New York court over the custody of the couple's two minor children. One of the latest developments is that a judge in the case is allowing the ex-wife to be questioned by the husband's attorney in court regarding the facts surrounding an abortion that she had after they broke up.

The ex-husband discovered the abortion after using a subpoena to discover her medical records. The ex-wife had previously denied the husband's request to have custody of the children over the Easter weekend in 2012, asserting that she was doing so because he was an atheist. The abortion issue is being raised in an effort to depict the ex-wife as a hypocrite, as well as to explore the possibility that the great stress that she said that she was under at the time, which she claimed was solely caused by her ex-husband, may have been related to the abortion.

She had also previously said that she had not had any men over to her apartment at the time. She says that the pregnancy was the result of a one time incident involving a male friend. The husband's attorney is questioning whether the pregnancy was the result of "date rape," and whether the male friend had visited the ex-wife at her place, bringing him into contact with the children.

Courts deciding child custody cases apply a legal standard of determining what is in the best interests of the children. They often grant wide latitude to explore any facts and circumstances that might possibly have some relevance to this broad issue.

The ex-wife's attorney argued that using evidence surrounding the abortion in the case violated her client's rights as a woman, but the judge rejected this assertion, finding the circumstances relevant. The two children, 2 and 4 in 2012, stayed with the ex-wife's mother while she had the abortion. The personal life of both parties came up during the current proceeding, with the ex-wife testifying that the ex-husband had previously told her that he cheated on her with prostitutes during the marriage. The 58-year-old banker was also arrested in 2013 on an accusation that he had hit his ex-wife in front of the two children, but the case was later dropped.

Source: N.Y. Daily News, "Judge's decision to allow Lisa Meho's abortion to be used as evidence in New York custody case causes stir" Dareh Gregorian, Sep. 25, 2013

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