Saturday 25 March 2017

Judge set to rule in Madonna's custody battle

Madonna performs her Rebel Heart Tour at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Getty
Madonna performs her Rebel Heart Tour at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Getty
Madonna's ex-husband Guy Richie. Photo: Getty

David Barrett

The bitter custody battle between Madonna and Guy Ritchie, her former husband, will reach a critical new stage today when a High Court judge delivers his ruling.

Mr Justice MacDonald said earlier this month that he would decide whether a legal challenge over the future of the couple's son, Rocco, should be brought to a close.

The judge also said he may make a decision on the 15-year-old's welfare.

Madonna (57) told the judge she wanted to "heal the wounds" opened in the dispute and end litigation that has led to a public and acrimonious dispute with the British film director.

David Williams QC said: "She doesn't wish for these proceedings in England to continue any longer than necessary. What she has always sought to date is to find a way in which this family can come together to heal the wounds which have been inflicted on the family in the past four months or so."

The couple's teenage son is understood to have refused to return to the US, where he had been living with his mother, after visiting London late last year.

Madonna made an application last year under the Hague Convention - which deals with the abduction of children - for the return of Rocco, although she has now applied for that legal

action to be discontinued.

The singer's legal team has suggested Mr Ritchie should travel to the US - where parallel family court proceedings are in progress - to take part in conciliation efforts.

The court heard Mr Ritchie has declined to visit America, fearing he could be arrested.

The US judge Deborah Kaplan urged the former husband and wife to reach agreement and suggested the American proceedings should take precedence over those in London.

Irish Independent

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