There has been no official announcement from either Tiger Woods or Elin Nordegren about the couple’s legal separation. But according to TMZ, Tiger Woods has hired an attorney, Thomas Sasser, who specializes in international custody arrangements to be his council as the couple enter divorce proceedings.
As the months have ticked by and Tiger and Elin have failed to make up, it has become clear that the custody of the kids is going to be the primary issue in the divorce. Obviously, there is a financial settlement that will have to happen, but there is a pre-nup agreement that in all likelihood provides some direction on those arrangements. Custody of the children is thornier.
Hiring Sasser is one of those moves that could either indicate a willingness to cooperate and hammer out a custody arrangement that allows Elin to take their children Sam, 3, and Charlie, 1, to Sweden. Or it could be a shot across the bow, intended to block those plans. Hard to tell. There have been rumblings for months now that Elin wants to take the children to Sweden and raise them there, and reports that Tiger was not going to allow her to do so. But this is beginning to look more and more like it is going to happen, with TMZ reporting that Tiger will be seeking either some custody or visitation rights.
I feel sorry for Tiger Woods in this. Of course he was a terrible husband, and the depth of his infidelity is stomach-turning, at best. But to be faced with the prospect of having your kids move to the other side of the planet must be awful. But what can he really do? He is in the middle of trying to rehabilitate his image, which was shattered by the revelations about his seedy affairs. A drawn-out custody battle would certainly undermine those efforts. So my guess is that he will go along with Elin in this. The question is, is it the right move for their kids? Are children better off living near their father, even if he is a terrible husband? Or would it be better to put as many miles between them and this situation as humanly possible?