Style & ShowbizShowbiz

Madonna and Guy Ritchie urged to resolve custody battle out of court

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Madonna and Guy Ritchie urged to resolve custody battle out of court

Madonna and Guy Ritchie have been told by a judge to not use up any more of the "fast receding days" of their son Rocco's childhood with their custody dispute.

At a hearing in London on Monday (21.03.16), Mr. Justice MacDonald urged the former couple to try and reach an "amicable solution" to their custody arrangements for their 15-year-old child before he grows up and becomes a man.

He said: "I renew, one final time, my plea for both parents to seek and to find an amicable resolution to the dispute between them.

"As I observed during the course of the hearing, summer does not last forever. The boy very quickly becomes the man. It would be a very great tragedy for Rocco if any more of the previous and fast receding days of his childhood were to be taken up by this dispute."

In a 22-page written ruling, the judge added: "Far better for each of his parents to spend that time enjoying, in turn, the company of the mature, articulate and reflective young man who is their son and who is a very great credit to them both."

Rocco has been living with his film director father, his stepmother Jacqui Ainsley and half-siblings Rafael, four, Rivka, three, and 21-month-old Levi in the UK for the past few months.

Rocco stayed in London after visiting Guy, 47, last autumn and then refused to go back to America to live with his 57-year-old pop superstar mother.

Madonna - who is currently on her 'Rebel Heart Tour' - lodged a claim under child abduction laws against Guy for keeping Rocco, but earlier this month she applied to withdraw that legal action, however, Guy's own legal team opposed the move stating they want the matter resolved in the UK rather than the US.

The judge has made "no orders on the question of whether Rocco returns to New York" and stated the "root of these proceedings" is due to a "temporary breakdown in trust" between the parents.

He also revealed that both he and Manhattan judge Deborah Kaplan have "repeatedly urged the parties to adopt a consensual approach to resolving these matters of dispute between them for the benefit of Rocco".

He stated: "For all the media coverage, comment and analysis, this is a case born out of circumstances that arise for countless separated parents the world over. The court should always be the option of last resort when parents cannot agree matters in respect of their children.

"Whilst the law provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes between parents in respect of their children it is but a blunt instrument when compared to the nuanced virtues of calm discussion and considered compromise between those involved, accepting that this latter path can be a hard one on which to embark, and to sustain, in the context of relationship breakdown."

None of the parties attended the High Court for the ruling.