Padma Lakshmi – Adam Dell – Ted Forstmann's trifecta custody fight: But should Krishna Lakshmi's name be changed to Krishna Dell?

Can Adam Dell win custody of baby Krishna Lakshmi – the infant daughter he spawned with Top Chef contestant Padma Lakshmi?
Interesting case brewing between Top Chef contestant¬†Padma Lakshmi and her ex lover and baby’s daddy, Adam Dell. Adam Dell has brought suit, I guess in New York, to get custody of their 11 month old daughter Krishna Thea Lakshmi. Adam is claiming, according to Yahoo News that Padma Lakshmi is a bad mother because she travels too much and she is too much into her career.

Padma Lakshmi sued by ex lover for custody of infant daughter

He wants primary custody of the little girl, who, apparently was proven to be his via a DNA genetic marker test; and he wants Padma to get visitation only. He also wants the child’s name to be changed to reflect his last name. He wants her to be called Krishna Lakshmi Dell.
Can he do that? Yikes. I don’t know…..sometimes the law is counter-intuitive with these things and I am not sure about this one. I can try to reason it out and see if he should logically be able to do it….Well, the fact of the matter is, he and Padma were not married. So the child does not automatically get his last name because there is no presumption of paternity as there is when the parents are married. At the same time, he did get a genetic marker test done on the child and she’s allegedly his based on the result of the DNA inquiries.
Can he legally get the name changed? That should be an easy question but I find myself stumped. I’m not sure on this one. I am leaning towards answering in the affirmative: He can change the name because he is the biological father. But I want to also say that something is telling me that the fact that they are unmarried might be relevant. Although, maybe not. ¬†I mean, what is Padma going to argue? That the child shouldn’t have her father’s last name because they are not married? I don’t think that will fly. Padma has no basis to object to the name change – if, in fact, he is the biological father. A maternal parent does not have sole rights to name a child just because she is not married to the child’s biological father, does she? I don’t think so. That doesn’t sound right. At the same time, if the father had objected to the child having his last name could the mother do anything about it? I think the mother in that case could have done whatever she wanted. She could name the child whatever she wanted because they are not married. However, I think the game changes once the biological father asserts paternity and requests that his child carries his last name.
Yea, I think Adam Dell will be able to name the child Krishna Dell. I think Padma will have very little that she can do to stop that. In any event, read the rest of the story on Yahoo. It’s quite well written, I thought and very interesting:

“Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi is steeped in a custody fight, and the ingredients are plenty complex.
Venture capitalist Adam Dell sued Wednesday for custody of Lakshmi’s 11-month-old daughter. He says a paternity test has shown he’s the infant’s father, but Lakshmi is sidelining him and trying to cast her current flame, financier Ted Forstmann, in that role.
Dell wants custody of the baby, and he’s pointing sharply to Lakshmi’s career and globe-trotting lifestyle as a reason, saying she’s “either unable or unwilling to moderate either her social or business travel” for the child’s sake.
A lawyer for Lakshmi, Jay D. Silverstein, called Dell’s claims “inaccurate and misleading,” and her camp blasted the public airing of her and her daughter’s personal life.
“Ms. Lakshmi’s sole interest lies in preserving the privacy and welfare of her daughter and in working out a fair and amicable agreement out of the media’s glare,” spokeswoman Christina Papadopoulos said.
Forstmann declined to comment through his office.
The dispute, which has simmered for months in gossip pages, involves a perhaps unlikely trio of prominent people.
Best known for her “Top Chef” role, Lakshmi, 40, is also a former model and an ex-wife of novelist Salman Rushdie.
Dell, 41, is an investor who’s been involved in technology firms, and he’s the brother of computer giant Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell. Forstmann, 70, is the chief executive of sports and entertainment marketing firm IMG and was a 1980s pioneer in the use of leveraged buyouts, or deals financed at least partly with debt. [more]

Now, as far as him winning custody just because Padma works and travels a lot due to her work? I’m not buying that. No court will take the child simply because the primary custodial parent works. I mean, it could be a mitigating factor, but it is not a decisive one. Parents have to work. You can’t penalize a mother just cause she works. That is not neglect or abuse just because a mother works. Now, if Padma is alienating the child’s affections by allowing the child to call another man “papa” as is alleged in the complaint? That’s a potential problem that when coupled with the work could cause a judge to lean towards giving the father custody. Can’t wait to see how this one turns out.