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NFL player, Jimmy Smith, in midst of child custody dispute

Relationships among high profile athletes often come under intense scrutiny from fans, especially when those relationships do not end happily. These sports professionals often find themselves caught up in acrimonious child custody disputes filled with allegations that may or may not be true. Football fans living in Pennsylvania may be aware of such a dispute involving Raven's cornerback, Jimmy Smith. 

According to a petition filed against the player for sole custody of the former couple's 3-year-old child, the mother alleges that Smith has engaged in illicit behavior in the presence of their son. These behaviors purportedly include the use of illegal drugs and other substances. The mother has also alleged that her former partner was physically abusive to her and that he is failing to provide a suitable home for the child whenever the boy is in the care of his father.

Smith, both through his legal representative and independently, has categorically denied all of these allegations. He and the child's mother currently have a shared custody agreement that was signed last year. The mother has since filed two petitions seeking sole custody. Smith is likewise seeking sole custody. The current custody plan requires both parents to submit to drug testing, and it further requires that a caretaker be in the father's home whenever his child is in residence.

To date, there are no specific allegations against Smith in regard to any domestic abuse against his former partner. He does have a history from several years ago of underage drinking and an assault charge as well as one misdemeanor count stemming from an incident in 2014 (the charges were later dropped). Neither his NFL team nor the NFL have offered to comment further on the current accusations. It is not uncommon for parents to fight over child custody agreements, especially if their previous relationship did not end well. Those individuals in Pennsylvania who are likewise struggling to arrive at a suitable parenting plan may wish to seek the input of an experienced family law attorney who can help ensure that the best needs of the child will be met.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Ravens' Jimmy Smith denies ex-girlfriend's allegations of drug use and domestic violence in custody dispute", Jeff Barker, Nov. 2, 2017

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