The Daily Beast had the low down on the newest latest breaking news and details about Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren Woods prenup. In it, they waxed poetic about the seven figure deals Elin is slated to receive if she stays with Tiger another two years. It is as if she is doing him a great big favor by staying. She’s brought in some high powered lawyer who supposedly told the Daily Beast that Elin would get an additional $55 million if she stays and “acts like a dutiful wife.”
What was most offensive about it was the way it made Elin sound like a gold digger who all she cared about is the money and in quickly making sure she could get the most money possible from this man. It is vile. Especially since, one would think the biggest concern she and Tiger have is their kids. But nowhere in the negotiations was that mentioned. Or if it was, the Daily Beast does not seem to have been privy to that.
Elin and Tiger do have two cute kids, Sam and Charlie. It certainly is paramount what happens to them if their parents divorce in the next two years. All anyone seems concerned about though, is how much money Elin will get.
So who is entitled to custody if those two split up? Elin or Tiger? Luckily for Tiger, there is no presumption of maternal custody in Florida. Either parent can get custody if the court feels it is in the best interest of the child.
THE IMPACT OF RACE ON CUSTODY NEGOTIATIONS
We did a post earlier this year which you can read here: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/black-vs-white-who-gets-custody-of-the-interracial-child-after-a-divorcesplit-up about how race factors into custody orders in the state of Florida. The case we cited, which dates back to 1985, went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. Here’s an excerpt from that post:
In Palmore v. Sidoti, for example, the Supreme Court was called upon to decide whether a 1985 Florida court decision that a White mother who had remarried a Black man would lose custody of her White child, was good law and had comported with the Federal Constitution. The Supreme Court decided that the Florida decision was bad and had not passed constitutional muster. The Florida decision stated in part that:
The father’s evident resentment of the mother’s choice of a Black partner is sufficient to wrest custody from the mother. It is of some significance, however, that the mother did see fit to bring a man into her home and carry on a sexual relationship with him without being married to him. Such action tended to place gratification of her own desires ahead of her concern for the child’s future welfare. This court feels that despite the strides that have been made in bettering relations between the races in this country, it is inevitable that [the child] will, if allowed to remain in her present situation and attains school age and thus more vulnerable to peer pressure, suffer from the social stigmatization that is sure to come.
Obviously, we are a long way from 1985. And surely Florida has evolved with this type of thinking with respect to racial issues and marriage and relationships and children. But at the same time, one has to wonder if there is any lingering bigotry and how and if that would factor into a custody decision for Tiger and Elin. Granted the kids do seem to resemble Tiger more than Elin. The little girl in particular. But it remains to be seen what the court would decide in a case such as this if custody has not been ironed out in the prenup.
THE CHILDREN’S PREFERENCE Children as young as Tiger and Elin’s kids are not usually consulted with respect to a parental preference. Neither of the Woods kids have reached their fifth birthday yet, and even five is way too young for the children to be consulted. If the couple split up in the next two years, the children’s preference will likely not factor into any custody decision.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Domestic violence can be a factor that the court considers in making a determination as far as custody. If in fact Ms. Woods did hit her husband and lacerate his face, it may be something that the court considers. The reasoning is, if an adult can physically abuse another adult who can fight back, what is to stop that adult from physically abusing a child who cannot fight back? Again, there is no public admission from the Woods camp that Ms. Woods had anything to do with his injuries. But is seems all but a foregone conclusion that something physical went down with those two that night. Thus, if a custody battle goes down anytime after this, Tiger may use this incident to his benefit if he is fighting for the kids. And normally, someone in his wife’s position (if in fact she did hit him) would probably lose custody because of a tendency towards violence.
THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD Ultimately, though, the court is going to consider the totality of the circumstances and award custody to the parent who can best provide for the welfare of the children, who can care for them, and with whom their best interest is realized. The parent who can co-parent, who will not alienate the children from the other parent, who will not harm the children or put them in harm’s way (whether physically or psychologically), who can demonstrate love and concern and genuine affection with the children, who can show that they have been the main caregiver of the children during the marriage –that is the parent who will get custody.
And this is true even if the parties stipulated otherwise in a prenup, btw. When it comes to the kids, prenups are pretty much not worth the paper they are printed on. Cause everything can change with kids.
So that is it in a nutshell. But it is very disturbing, as mentioned earlier, that nowhere in these prenup talks has anyone mentioned that Elin is even remotely concerned about the kids. It seems that all the talk is about how much money she stands to gain. And there is something slightly slimy about that.