Celebrity child custody battles that are the stuff of daytime soaps

Celebrity child custody battles that are the stuff of daytime soaps

Divorce entails dividing the spouses’ assets -- including pets -- and possibly deleting spousal memories that appear on social media. But unlike Facebook or Instagram posts, children can’t be deleted, and unlike assets, they can’t be divided or sold.

During an ongoing divorce, at least one parent will be in charge of the children full-time and kids will have to deal with dividing their time with either parents. Unfortunately for celebrities, getting a divorce also means unwittingly airing their dirty laundry in public.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s rocky battle over son Rocco

Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s separation in 2008 signalled the end of Madonna’s British accent and the beginning of their son Rocco’s woes. Whom does he choose: his mom who is the queen of pop, or his dad who makes Sherlock Holmes movies?

Unsurprisingly, the custody battle over Rocco received a lot of press, which is how the public came to know of Her Madgesty’s supposedly outrageous demands from Mr. Ritchie. Per M’s ‘commandments,’ Rocco (and their other children) should only drink water blessed by Kabbalah leaders, play no ‘ethically unsound’ toys, and follow a strict macrobiotic diet, among others demands, while in his custody.

The battle involved a series of court hearings, multiple pleas for Rocco to come home to New York, tearful concert performances, some embarrassing Instagram posts, and numerous tabloid headlines. Mr. Ritchie won the bitter battle, giving Madonna fresh material for a new album.

The ‘child’s best interests’ is the guiding principle in many US child custody laws, including those in Washington State. So if the court deems it best for a child’s well-being to be spared from a parent’s embarrassing social media-oversharing, the parent much less inclined to post selfies on Instagram is likely to get primary custody.

Halle Berry’s hairy baby daddy drama

As is often the case with hot-tempered couples, Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry’s relationship was doomed from the beginning. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that they’re both gorgeous.

Nahla was 4 when her Oscar-winning mom and supermodel dad divorced, putting her in the middle of a blistering baby daddy drama. A proud African-American woman, Halle sued her ex for having their daughter’s naturally curly locks straightened and dyed. She also accused him of making racist remarks against her.

According to Halle, altering Nahla’s natural hair is an attempt to deny their daughter’s African-American heritage, which could lead to ‘potential psychological and physical damage.’

To protect her daughter, Halle sought to move her to Paris, which the court denied. It was also ruled that neither parent could alter the little girl’s hair.

Halle and Gabriel share custody, but Halle sought to cut her monthly child support payments from $16,000 to $3,800, owing to the fact that her ex is a bum who can actually afford to pay for an expensive gym membership. In Gabriel’s defense, bookings became scarce when Halle’s erstwhile partner, the French actor and former boxer Olivier Martinez, punched him in the face.

What Usher would never confess

R&B singer Usher’s platinum-selling albums prove that getting caught cheating on your partner is far from being the worst thing that could happen to you. Throughout his career, Usher has mined his personal relationships and family life for material for his albums. But one life event he would not dare use as material is allegations of him being a bad parent, as his ex Tameka Foster claims.

Being a best-selling artist -- aka loaded in cash -- was instrumental in Usher winning primary custody of their two sons. Tameka, however, did not give up easily. She leveraged little Usher Raymond V’s drowning incident in Usher’s home to win back primary custody of both their sons.

The judge merely gave Usher a warning to be more communicative with his ex, and not a peep was said about using any of these events for future hit singles.

Washington State child custody laws recognize a ‘parenting plan’ instead of the more commonly used ‘custody’ and ‘visitation’ in reference to child custody. If you’re getting a divorce in the Evergreen state, you’ll want to know what such a plan covers, which typically includes where the children will live and with which parent, how the parents should make decisions about the children, and how they should resolve future disputes. Call our Seattle-based attorneys to learn more.