Khloe Kardashian's Baby's Custody All Comes Down To One Key Detail About The Birth
For Khloé Kardashian, it’s been a pretty eventful week. In the days following her daughter's birth, fans and media outlets alike are wondering what her and Tristan Thompson's future co-parenting scheme might look like. To that end, Khloé Kardashian has sole custody of her baby, according to Ohio state law, as pointed out by Elle U.K. That legal clause feels particularly important to some fans right now, since Kardashian gave birth to her first child on Thursday, April 12 in a hospital outside Cleveland. As if that wasn't already enough commotion for one-week's time, news of Kardashian's delivery trailed rumors that Thompson allegedly cheated on her multiple times. (Bustle reached out to Thompson and Kardashian's reps about the cheating rumors, but did not hear back.)
As Elle U.K.'s report published Monday, April 16 highlighted, the reality star and brand-new mom should have been granted sole legal and residential custody of her daughter upon giving birth, based on a tidbit from Ohio's state legislature that speaks to this. The law stipulates:
"An unmarried female who gives birth to a child is the sole residential parent and legal custodian of the child until a court of competent jurisdiction issues an order designating another person as the residential parent and legal custodian."
In layman's terms, that basically means that while Kardashian should have automatically received sole rights to custody over her daughter — by Ohio's legal standards, at least — Thompson, who is the baby's father, probably needs to establish his own legal paternity status through slightly more complicated means.
Katie Arthurs, an attorney at a Cleveland-based law firm, explained the custody breakdown pretty succinctly during a recent conversation with Hollywood Life published on Friday, April 13. First, Arthurs echoed the parameters laid out by state legislature. "If a child is born to unmarried parents, then under Ohio law, the mother has sole custody," she told the publication. As for Thompson's rights? "It is then up to the father to file with the court to establish paternity," Arthurs finished, clarifying that "establishing paternity" can include filing for shared custody and/or visitation rights.
So, in theory, if Kardashian were to remain living in Cleveland (where Thompson, an NBA player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, permanently resides, and where Kardashian recently relocated to start their family), she would legally be given full custody of her daughter. In fact, technically, it's already been granted. That being said, just because Ohio state law automatically grants full custody to the child's mother doesn't necessarily mean that Kardashian will actually opt for it. It's up to her how to proceed, and right now, that's a big question mark.
In case anyone missed it, on Tuesday, April 10, two days before Kardashian gave birth, a handful of reports cropped up claiming that Thompson cheated on his girlfriend on more than one occasion. One that garnered a lot of attention came from TMZ on Tuesday, when the publication claimed to have video footage of Thompson in the act of "engaging" with two women back in October, neither of which were Kardashian. (Bustle reached out to Thompson's agent and Kardashian's rep about the videos, but did not hear back.)
At this point, the rumors still haven't been confirmed, so it's difficult to interpret them as anything but exactly what they are — rumors. Reports that followed Kardashian's delivery claimed that Thompson was in the delivery room with her, which might suggest that the new parents are putting their issues aside for the time being. (It is, after all, a uniquely special occasion for both of them.) While Kardashian herself has yet to comment publicly on the baby news, her mom Kris Jenner confirmed the arrival of the baby by retweeting a sweet video on Thursday afternoon.
Either way, regardless of whether the cheating rumors end up proving legitimate, it's ultimately up to Kardashian to decide how she wants to parent her child. If that means maintaining sole custody of her daughter, so be it. If she decides otherwise, it's important to remember that, no matter what, it's still her decision.