March madness? Father makes college basketball custody request

For many parents, one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce settlement is deciding who will get the kids on certain holidays and other special occasions. Unfortunately, this sometimes results in a standoff that has to be resolved through the courts, resulting in some degree of residual bitterness between the parents.

Interestingly, this was not the situation for one Chicago couple, whose divorce settlement was signed, sealed and delivered once the husband’s rather unusual custody request was granted.

Here, the father — Michael — received a copy of the divorce settlement from his wife’s divorce attorney, which indicated that his wife was requesting custody of the couple’s two kids on all four Jewish holidays and half of their Christmas vacation.

“I’m thinking to myself, ‘This is highly unbalanced,'” said Michael. “I’m not a very religious person, so I tried to think of culturally some other things that are important to me that I wanted to make sure I share with my kids.”

After some thought, Michael decided to request custody on Super Bowl Sunday and St. Patrick’s Day, which was certainly not out of the ordinary. However, it was his next custody request that seemed especially strange to both divorce attorneys involved in the case.

He requested custody of his two children if the event that that his beloved Syracuse Orange are playing in the NCAA men’s basketball championship game.

Michael — who was raised in Syracuse — is a huge fan who remembers gathering with family members to watch university athletic events together. He is now trying to share this love of all things Orange with his children, whom he dresses in Syracuse gear and watches games with whenever possible.

“Even though Syracuse has only won the title once and it may not happen for another 20 years, it’s something that’s really important to me,” he said. “It’s not a holiday exactly, but it is holy to me. Other people define themselves by their religion or race. Frankly, Syracuse sports, especially basketball, football and lacrosse, are a big part of my heritage.”

It should be noted that Michael originally thought about asking for custody if the Orange made the Final Four or the Elite Eight. However, after his wife informed him that he would have to give up something in return, he quickly abandoned the idea.

To learn more about child custody, visitation or parental rights, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


Yahoo! Sports, “Syracuse fan makes unusual custody request in divorce settlement,” Jeff Eisenberg, July 27, 2012