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Ugly custody, property battle for Florida congressman

What's worse than a contentious marital break-up? A bitter split that draws a lot of public attention.

Florida congressman Alan Grayson has been making the headlines for a dispute he's having with the mother of his five children, four of whom are minors. Grayson has filed for sole physical and legal custody of the younger children, ages 10 to 16.

Alan and Lolita Grayson were married in 1990 but the union apparently was invalid, according to the politician, because the woman was still married to her first husband. In April, the couple agreed to an annulment of their 24-year relationship. However, court battles over assets – worth $31 million, according to estimates -- and child custody are ongoing.

The latest round involves Lolita's alleged treatment of the children and her ex. The congressman filed a petition claiming the stay-at-home mom abused the children and used child support for herself. Grayson called the woman's behavior "bizarre" and "aggressive" and said the mother refused to communicate and sometimes denied the father access to the kids.

Grayson has asked a court to give him permission to retrieve personal possessions from the "marital" home. He wants a police officer to go with him and record the event on tape to discourage his ex from harming or removing his property.

As a sole custodian, Rep. Grayson would have the right to make all decisions concerning the children's welfare. Florida courts can grant one parent legal custody, provided the arrangement is beneficial to the children. Lolita Grayson has requested continued shared custody, child support, alimony and an order to stop her ex from selling off property until asset ownership is resolved.

Strong emotions can make it difficult for some married and unmarried parents to resolve custody disputes and other issues. Attorneys often can help parents resolve these problems before the issue becomes a public, legal showdown.

Source: SaintPetersBlog, "Alan Grayson wants kids to live with him, claims mother is “bizarre”," Associated Press, June 02, 2015

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