Pennsylvania music fans may have heard that pop singer Madonna and film director Guy Ritchie are involved in a custody dispute over their 15-year-old son Rocco. Madonna currently has custody of Rocco, though her son has expressed a wish to live with his father. At a recent court hearing, a Manhattan Supreme Court justice ordered Rocco to return to his mother’s home in New York.
Rocco has been living with his father in London, and he was the cause of the child custody hearing after expressing that he wanted to stay in the U.K. Because New York has jurisdiction over the child custody case, Rocco must return to New York before any changes can be made to the custody order. The Manhattan judge said that if Rocco wants to stay with his father, he must return to his mother.
According to reports, Rocco has to come back to New York before school starts after Christmas vacation. Once in New York, Rocco will be appointed a local attorney by the court. New York has jurisdiction over the case because Madonna and Ritchie were divorced in New York in 2008. The divorce order gave Madonna custody of Rocco and David Banda, the now 10-year-old son she adopted with Ritchie.
International child custody disputes are sometimes complicated by questions over which court has jurisdiction in the case. If one parent refuses to cooperate with a court order, the case can become even more complicated. A parent who is involved in an international child custody dispute may want to have representation from an attorney throughout the process.
Source: NY Daily News, “EXCLUSIVE: Madonna feuds with ex Guy Ritchie over custody of son, teen wants to stay with director dad in London,” Barbara Ross, Stephen Rex Brown, Dec. 24, 2015