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Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

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California Woman Settles Child Custody Dispute in Adoption Case

According to the Los Angeles Times, a bitter child custody and adoption battle between a California woman and an Ohio man has finally been settled in court. Stacey Doss, 46, has reached a settlement with Benjamin Mill Jr., father of three-year-old Vanessa.

The toddler has lived with Doss since birth and she now has full custody of the child. Vanessa’s biological mother claimed she got pregnant after a one night stand, and that Mills was not the father. Subsequent paternity test proved that Mills was indeed the father. Doss started the adoption process before Vanessa was born, with full intention of raising the girl.

Mills filed for custody when Vanessa was less than a month old, halting the adoption proceedings. To make the case even more interesting, Mills lives in Ohio while Doss is a California resident. This interstate child custody dispute has had several courtroom highs and lows. A judge ordered Doss to return the child to Ohio but was denied a stay until further notice.

Doss was relieved to reach a settlement but was worried about Vanessa’s safety due to Mills’ past history of domestic violence. Mills served a year in prison for a domestic violence conviction.

The settlement allows Doss full custody of the child but her paternal grandmother, Rena Jordan, will be granted visitation rights. Doss hopes the settlement ends legal proceedings, which some experts saw as a potential to go to the Supreme Court to explore the issue of children’s rights in foster care situations.

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