The Anne Riddell Bob Ennis Custody battle hypothetical

Just for kicks I’ve been wondering about the Riddell- Ennis story and whether the picture brouhaha (Mr. Ennis took out an interview in Forbes yesterday slamming the New York Times for including his ten year old daughter’s picture without his permission –  Oh, wait, is she really only seven years old??? 🙂 )  could end up being a custody fight?

Based on the tone of the Forbes article (this guy sounds pissed!), I thought to myself, “this is the stuff that custody blitzkriegs are made of!” You know? What was Anne thinking?! Because it’s bad enough Anne Riddell cheated on her husband (even if just emotionally) and then left him and the children for another man but her judgment with this photo/announcement was flawed at best. Anne tells it differently, of course. She and her new husband John Partilla claim there was no “dastardly” affair and that they separated before they did the nasty. Her ex husband Mr. Ennis dismisses these claims and “revisionist lies.”

Well, okay. It’s their word against his. I won’t judge that one. But to put that announcement in the New York Times about the new marriage between the two extra marital lovers? That is almost a declaration of war. It’s a way of rubbing salt in old wounds and this could trigger primal reactions in some people and if a custody fight ensued, a literal Bewegungskrieg, I would not be surprised.

Now this is all hypothetically speaking. Because I have no idea what their custodial arrangement is. But let’s say Anne has custody of the minors. Then Bob could now bring in some New York big wig lawyers like…..um….that Kaplan guy? And next thing you know, it’s just jihad. And for what? A picture appearing in the New York Times. Now, could this be a reason to change custody? Even in a hypothetical situation? I don’t think so. But it sure wouldn’t stop guys like Bob from waging the war anyway and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars just for the heck of it. In the end? It’s about bruised pride and hurt ego. The children in these scenarios? Well, they are the ones who suffer when their parents act like morons. (Not saying Anne and Bob are acting like morons – yet – but you know how these things tend to go.)
So Bob would basically accuse Anne of being an unfit parent. And maybe even abusive for exposing the child to her lies and cheating and “revisionist” stories. He would argue that exposing their daughter in the manner she did in the New York Times picture puts the child’s safety at risk (they are rich, apparently and Bob basically said that rich kids are targets in New York okay?). Mr. Ennis will further argue that he is the best parent because he will protect the child’s privacy from possible attacks by bounty hunters, criminals and kidnappers by NEVER putting her picture in a newspaper like that. And he certainly has the means to provide financially for the child. And morally, he’s the bigger parent too – because Anne is a cheat and everybody knows it cause she admitted it in the New York Times….
Blah blah blah.
What would Anne’s comeback be? Sour grapes. She will accuse Bob of being bitter about the divorce and of being petty and of trying to use the children as pawns and weapons. She will accuse him of trying to alienate her children from her and a whole bunch of crazy stuff….hopefully she will stop short of accusing him of abuse….
And so the story goes.
What will the judge do? The judge give everybody in this custody war a little bit since they spent so much money to have the fight. He probably wouldn’t award joint custody, though, since New York judges tend not to do that when there is acrimony among the parents. But one will get more visitation and overnight visits and the other will have primary custody. And that will be the end of it for a while till one of them goes in for a modification.
But you know what? I think both Anne and Bob are too mature to take this silly fight any further. I still think Anne should not have put that announcement in the New York Times. Was she trying to get a rise out of her ex-husband, or what?

Now, here’s another thing: Is it me? Or does it seem like the press is much harsher on Anne’s actions in this sordid story than on John Partilla’s actions? They both cheated on their spouses. But it appears that Anne is the one who is the homewrecker here. Nobody gives a goat shit about John’s equal role. What the bleep is that all about?