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Paul Anka awarded sole custody of his son

28402965_S.jpgMany Missouri fans of 1950s pop music have been keeping their eyes on Paul Anka's custody battle. On July 3, Anka was officially awarded sole custody of his 11-year-old son Ethan in a California court.

His former wife, Anna Aberg, the former Miss Sweden, was banned from contact with the boy. Aberg hasn't seen Ethan in over two years. However, Aberg's lawyers emphasized that there had never been a finding of unfitness or abuse in the child custody case and that the outcome was very unusual. Aberg's lawyers argued that Ethan should be reunited with his mother, saying that he had been turned against his mother by his father. They argued that Ethan, who allegedly expressed a dislike for her, should be brought back in contact with his mother.

Anka is perhaps best-known for his 1950s hits like "Lonely Boy" and "Diana". Aberg's lawyers claimed that his wealth and fame influenced the outcome in court, saying that even parents who are addicted or imprisoned are not denied visitation with their children.

The outcome in Anka's case does reflect the increasing tendency in U.S. courts to favorably view fathers' applications for custody, including sole custody. Fathers who work with a family law attorney to pursue custody are often awarded some custodial rights, absent a situation of abuse, domestic violence or neglect of the child. While the outcome of barred visitation seen in this case is highly uncommon outside cases involving child abuse, even fathers who are not famous or wealthy have a likelihood of achieving a high level of involvement in their children's lives.

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