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"Top Chef" host's ex gets greater custody rights to daughter

Georgia readers may be interested to know that the well-publicized courtroom battle between former model, cookbook author and current host of the ever-popular cooking show "Top Chef," Padma Lakshmi, and her former boyfriend has finally concluded. The child custody controversy began in early 2011 over the estranged couple's now-2-year-old daughter.

Other issues resolved in the case include visitation privileges and the formal recognition of the ex-boyfriend's paternity of Lakshmi's child. The 2-year-old was born following the end of her parents' two-year relationship, which ended in September of 2009. Lakshmi only let the public know of her pregnancy after the break-up was announced. For a time, Lakshmi refused to publically acknowledge her ex-boyfriend as her daughter's father, but that issue was apparently put to rest through DNA testing.

After filing for full custody of his daughter, the former boyfriend will now be granted greater rights to visit his daughter. In his original filings, he said that the "Top Chef" host tried very hard to restrict how much time he could spend with his daughter, if not outright trying to erase him from her life. The child will now use both her mother's and her father's last names.

Just because Lakshmi has a successful career as a television host and cookbook author does not mean that her former boyfriend should lose any of his parental rights to his daughter. This includes the right to see her during visitation time and being publically acknowledged as her father. Like Lakshmi's ex-boyfriend, fathers in Marietta may feel that they will never get custody or even visitation with their children, but by working with a strong fathers' rights attorney, it can be possible.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Padma Lakshmi Custody Battle: 'Top Chef' Host Says She 'Didn't Lose Anything'," March 16, 2012

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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