This past December, when Rocco was touring with Madonna, his famous mother, in Europe, he refused to return to New York. He insisted that he wanted to stay in London and live with his famous father, Guy Ritchie.
Madonna then filed a motion in a London court, whereon she asked Justice Alistair MacDonald to order Guy Ritchie to put their teenager son, Rocco, on a plane to New York. Instead, the judge ordered Rocco’s lawyer to hold onto his passport temporarily until he got a better understanding of what happened.
Madonna then filed a motion in a Manhattan court, asking that her teenage son be returned to New York. State Supreme Court Justice Deborah Kaplan ordered Rocco to be returned home by January. However, the good Judge admonished both parties to try to work things out, and enjoy these years with their son. She noted that the parties had a temporary breakdown in communication. She said a custody court should be the last resort. Thereafter, Rocco enrolled in school in London with the blessing of both parties.
When Madonna and Guy Ritchie split in 2009, they agreed that all custody disputes will be decided in New York. This is clearly better for Mondonna in that she will not have to litigate custody issues in London. However, based on the tone of the NY Judge, it is clear that issues regarding custody will be determined by the best interest of their son, Rocco. Not what is more convenient for the parents.
Although further custody disputes will be decided in New York, Madonna should heed the advice of the New York Judge and try to co parent with her ex. She also needs to show good faith, and that she is not trying to interfer with the father’s custodial time. Thus, it is to her credit that she agreed to allow Rocco to attend school in London. The last thing she would want is a ruling similar to the one rendered in the Kelly Rutherford international custody dispute.
If you have been following my blog posts, you will recall that in the Rutherford matter, the final court ruling held that all future visits are to take place in Monoco. That was because Kelly Rutherford violated a court order, and refused to return her children to their father in Monoco at the end of their summer visit with her, in the United States.