It’s official. Larry Birkhead is the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter. I think the Earth can start rotating again and our collective pause buttons on our lives can hit play now.

But, in all seriousness this international case has shed light on the struggles fathers face in custody battles and how divisive these cases can become. There is no better expert on this issue than Chicago divorce attorney and fathers’ advocate Jeffery Leving.

In consecutive days this week, Jeffery Leving appeared on CNN”s “Nancy Grace” show and MSNBC’s “Dayside” serving as a legal expert commenting on the intense custody battle. According to Leving, the biological father in this case has rights to the child and should be awarded that by the court. Leving also studied the Bahamian law before and offered insight on the differences between the two jurisdictions.

Leving also pointed out that Danielynn’s upbringing has not garnered the media attention it deserves. If custody is awarded to the maternal grandmother (Virgie Arthur), what happens when Dannielynn asks about her mom, her life and her dad? How will she respond? Will the maternal grandmother harbor ill will towards the father and cast a negative light? How can someone who has been out of her own daughter’s life usurp the rights of the father? It shouldn’t according to Leving.

Unfortunately, drugs, diaries and dollars have dominated the airwaves instead of the future for Danielynn.

Ryan McLaughlin
Vice President, Group Director