Today in An Atlanta Divorce Attorney’s Thoughts on Celebrity Divorce, I’m going to discuss the brewing custody battle between Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry. Berry and Aubry have a daughter, Nahla, together, though they were never married. After they broke up last year, it appeared that they were amicably and informally sharing custody of Nahla, but this arrangement has recently transformed into a bitter custody battle. Aubry filed a petition to establish paternity and to have a formal custody arrangement, signaling that the parties are no longer able to work the arrangement out on their own.
According to People Magazine, Berry has stated that she has “’serious concerns’ about Nahla’s well-being while in Aubry’s care,” and Aubry has denied these allegations. In a custody battle such as this, courts almost always appoint a Guardian ad Litem to assist in determining custody and it is likely a Guardian will be appointed in this case if the parties are unable to reach a settlement through mediation or otherwise. A Guardian ad Litem represents the child, and conducts interviews with the parties and other people with direct knowledge of the situation to piece through the various allegations. Upon completion of a thorough evaluation, the Guardian will make a custody recommendation to the court that is guided by the child’s best interest.
Unfortunately, even with a Guardian ad Litem, in a bitter custody battle such as this one, the allegations can get ugly (they already have here) and the child often gets dragged into the middle.Berry and Aubry both say they have Nahla’s best interest at heart but it remains to be seen if they will keep her best interest, rather than their anger toward each other, in the forefront of the custody battle.