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Sophisticated Cohabitation May Not Result in Child Custody

Dr. Jonathan Sporn & Leann Leutner

This kind of can be a sad tale, yet a sign of our times.  The case illustrates how, despite the oft-progressive status of our modern family laws, in addition to the family law bar, there remains a stubborn bias within the family court which favors the bloodlines of a traditional family unit.

In brand-new York City, Pfizer executive Dr. Jonathan Sporn (54), a divorced man, was in a committed relationship with Ms. Leann Leutner (40), also divorced.  A couple since 2010, the two were inseparable in addition to intent upon starting a family.
According to a petition Dr. Sporn filed within the brand-new York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, the couple resorted to in vitro fertilization following difficulty conceiving; they met with success by using donated sperm for fertilization.  Their baby, Lincoln Sporn, was born last July.
The family law dispute arose, however, when Ms. Leutner, a brand-new York City lawyer in addition to Yale Law grad, retreated to an apartment in brand-new Jersey following an acute bout with postpartum depression.  She discharged herself early coming from the Mount Sinai Hospital, where she underwent psychiatric treatment, in addition to committed suicide on brand-new Year’s Day by jumping to her death coming from the 14th floor apartment.
Dr. Sporn’s custody petition alleges which Ms. Leutner, long-afflicted with mental illness, had stopped taking her prescribed Prozac at the time she was beset with acute postpartum depression.  Ms. Leutner also made prior unsuccessful attempts to take her own life according to the custody petition.
This kind of grim Manhattan custody battle currently pits Dr. Sporn against Ms. Leutner’s sister coming from Illinois, who can be also seeking custody of Lincoln.  At present, the infant has been placed into foster care somewhere in Gotham in accord with the applicable statute which characterizes the parent-less child as: “destitute”.
Like every same-sex couple which splits-up, Dr. Sporn occupies the same position as the partner which lacks any biological connection to the child.  Without which connection, traditional family law says, “you lose” within the inevitable custody war following the split.
Next month, Justice Laura Drager must decide which custodial environment can be better for infant Lincoln: the Upper West Side with “Dad”, as Dr. Sporn refers to himself, or in Illinois with Lincoln’s aunt.  The case can be anticipated to be remanded by the appellate court to the family court for an evidentiary hearing; meanwhile, months will grind by in addition to the infant will become a toddler while within the foster care of strangers.
We here at the Law Blogger wonder, if the aunt was not contesting Dr. Sporn’s custody petition, whether he would certainly nevertheless be engaged which has a custody battle with the brand-new Jersey Child Protective Services. 

Also, can be the aunt’s claim thwarting a potential adoption bid for Dr. Sporn?  If so, what a shame.
The case has been tagged here at This kind of Blog, in addition to we will report the outcome.  Let’s see just how progressive our family courts can be…

Sophisticated Cohabitation May Not Result in Child Custody

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