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Father of Bristol Palin's second child seeks joint custody

A potential custody battle taking place in Alaska is drawing national attention because of the high-profile parents involved. Marine Dakota Meyer filed a suit in Alaska Superior Court on Jan. 4 asking for joint custody of the child he shares with Bristol Palin, the daughter of past vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin.

Meyer and Palin were engaged until their wedding was cancelled a week before the event was supposed to take place in May 2015, and Palin announced her pregnancy in June on her blog. The couple's daughter was born Dec. 23, and both parties expressed happiness about the news via social media. Sarah once reported that her daughter would wed former boyfriend Levi Johnston, but this relationship that resulted in Bristol's first child also ended.

Palin is known for a reality show covering her life and multiple appearances on "Dancing with the Stars", while Meyer gained recognition after heroic actions while fighting in Afghanistan in 2009 where he saved 36 soldiers and later earned the Medal of Honor in 2011. Meyer has not been publicly recognized as the father by Palin, but court records indicate that Meyer believes he is the child's biological father because of their past relationship and engagement. He is asking for joint legal and shared physical custody of their daughter, and neither party is said to be asking for child support yet.

In child custody cases where both parents are fit, judges tend to support awarding joint legal custody as courts want each parent to be involved in a child's life whenever possible. Palin lives in Alaska while Meyer lives in Kentucky, and cases involving that type of distance might make it harder to share physical custody. An attorney might attempt to negotiate an arrangement that would have the child staying with one parent during the school year and the other during the summer and holidays.

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