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Celebrity Family Law – Madonna and Guy Ritchie

A custody battle between Madonna and her ex-husband, Guy Ritchie, is heating up over their 15-year-old son, Rocco. Madonna and Guy Ritchie's Custody Battle Stems from a 'Power Struggle' Between Them, 'Not Between Her and Rocco': Source, by Jeff Nelson,, January 9, 2016. Rocco had been on the road with Madonna for her tour for three months when he went to London to see his father. He then refused to come back to the United States, saying he preferred to live a more stable life with Ritchie. Despite a December 23 Order requiring Rocco to return, he still has not done so. The parties are all due back in court in New York for a February 3 hearing where, according to sources, Ritchie will fight for primary custody.

At 15 years old, a Judge is very likely to take Rocco's desire to live with his father into consideration when determining custody. In fact, because of his age, his desires may be determinative. In Georgia, "[i]n all custody cases in which the child has reached the age of 14 years, the child shall have the right to select the parent with whom he or she desires to live. The child's selection for purposes of custody shall be presumptive unless the parent so selected is determined not to be in the best interests of the child." O.C.G.A. §.19-9-3(a)(5). Thus, if this case were in Georgia, Rocco could decide to live with his father, and custody would be modified accordingly unless Madonna could show some reason why it would not be in Rocco's best interest. While this case is in New York, it is likely that the law is similar regarding a custody decision made by a minor of this age. In the articles describing this custody battle, there have been allegations that Ritchie is brainwashing Rocco against his mother so this fact, if true, could come into play in determining the Rocco's best interest. A Judge will have to balance that with the difference in lifestyles between the two parents - it appears that Rocco has grown tired of the "on the road" lifestyle he has with Madonna and prefers a more quiet, traditional lifestyle that Ritchie can provide. In the end, however, because of his age, a Judge will give great weight to Rocco's desires and may modify custody accordingly.

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