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Battle for visitation and child custody ends with a name change

However, Dell sued Lakshmi after the paternity test proved him to be the father. The court recently granted him more custody and visitation rights than he had entered prior to the ruling, which was more restrictive. In addition, the court decided the daughter will take the last name of Dell, which is a major decision since the mother refused to name Dell as the father of the 2-year-old.

Dell's lawyer told the court the man was an exceptional father to the toddler, full of devotion and care. The lawyer claims Lakshmi taught the child to call her boyfriend, a mogul with more than $1 billion, "Papa." He said it was wrong for the mother to attempt to steal the father's role from Dell.

An attorney representing Lakshmi said the mother wishes the father would have filed reports in a private manner instead of causing a public dispute surrounding her daughter. She added the mother hopes other matters in the case remain private.

Because cases involving children are often extremely emotional, parents may benefit from seeking legal advice. Situations, such as changing the last name of a child, may be unexpected and contentious. Working with an attorney may greatly benefit a parent who wants to protect his or her rights.

Source: NY Daily News, "Padma Lakshmi loses court battle with baby daddy," Joyce Chen, March 15, 2012

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