Political Commentator Bill O’Reilly Loses Residential Custody of Children after Contentious Divorce
Bill O’Reilly, the popular TV personality and political commentator on Fox News, recently lost custody of his children.
The child custody case involved O’Reilly and his ex-wife, Maureen McPhilmy, who officially got divorced in 2011. The divorce was extremely contentious, with both O’Reilly and McPhilmy petitioning a NY divorce court for sole custody of the couple’s two children.
The case was first decided in 2015 when a Nassau County Supreme Court justice granted sole custody of the former married couple’s two kids to McPhilmy. However, O’Reilly appealed that ruling, allowing him to maintain shared residential custody of the children while the appeal ran its course.
Now an appeals court has upheld the lower court ruling and granted primary custody of the ex-couple’s children to McPhilmy. The appeals court judges specifically noted that the children expressed a clear preference for living with their mother. This was not surprising, particularly in light of testimony offered by the couple’s 17-year-old daughter: she said that she was present in the family’s home when O’Reilly physically attacked their mother and dragged her down a staircase by her neck. The daughter also told a court-appointed forensic examiner that she did not believe her father had any interest in developing a relationship with her.
While the appeals court decided that it would be in the “best interests” of the kids to live with their mother, O’Reilly was granted shared legal custody of the children. This means that O’Reilly will still have a say in how the children are raised, including the ability to offer input on decisions about what schools they might attend, what kind of medical care they should receive and what religion they may choose to practice – at least until they turn 18 years of age.
For additional information about this high-profile divorce case, view the Gawker.com article, “Bill O’Reilly Loses Custody of Children in New York Court Ruling.”
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or have already started the divorce process, a qualified family law attorney can help you. The successful family law and divorce lawyers at Graziano & Flynn, P.C. have decades of combined experience assisting people as they navigate divorce courts in New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.