Texas Fox News fans may be interested to know that Bill O'Reilly has lost custody of his 13-year-old and 17-year-old children. A New York appellate court on Feb. 24 upheld an earlier ruling that the children did not want to live with him and that they would live exclusively with their mother. In 2015, the Nassau County Supreme Court had decided that the children would be in the residential custody of their mother on a full-time basis.
In January 2016, both O'Reilly and the mother of the two children presented oral arguments to the appellate court. After hearing those arguments, the court ruled 4-0 in favor of the mother, saying that it was in the best interests of the children that they live with her. The justices cited the clear preferences of the children in addition to the living environment provided by the mother.
The couple's daughter reportedly witnessed O'Reilly drag her mother down a staircase. In addition, she believed that he was an absentee parent who had no interest in being a parent to her. While the mother has sole residential custody, the couple will continue to share legal custody. This means that O'Reilly may be able to influence the children's religious views as he has many connections with the Catholic church.
In a child custody case, family courts will focus on the best interests of the child. If the children are old enough, they may be able to state a preference as to who they should live with. An attorney may help parents establish that they are best suited to have sole physical custody or to have the ability to make certain important decisions on behalf of their children.