Madonna and Guy Ritchie's legal battle over their son Rocco will be decided in New York, a High Court judge ruled on Monday. The former couple have been embroiled in an ongoing dispute over where the 15-year-old should live since December, with lawsuits taking place in both London and the US.
Mr Justice MacDonald ruled that the English proceedings should be closed, leading further court hearings to continue in New York. The judge urged Madonna and Guy to resolve their dispute as soon as possible, and said it would be better if Rocco could spend time with each of his parents. More court hearings are expected to be held in New York in June.
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Madonna and Guy Ritchie's custody battle will continue in New York
Rocco has been living with his father Guy, stepmother Jacqui Ainsley and their three young children since December, and has previously refused to return to the US to figure out his living situation. It was previously agreed that Rocco will stay in London for the time being until a more permanent solution is confirmed.
At the beginning of March, New York Supreme Court Judge Deborah Kaplan said she would not remove Rocco from his school, since both parties have agreed he should maintain a "normal" life. "No one is disrupting this household. The child is in school; let us try to allow him to go forward in the most normal way," she said. "We're not forcing the child to leave school. His mother isn't asking that."
Rocco has been living in London with his father Guy since December
The New York judge also stated it would be in Rocco's best interests to keep the matter out of the spotlight, and urged his parents to find a custody resolution outside of the courtroom. She said, "I'm encouraging the parents to continue to resolve this matter in the best way possible for the child to take this tremendous pressure off their son."
Guy has reportedly reached out to Fathers4Justice amid the ongoing transatlantic custody battle for advice and a "jargon-free rundown" of his parental rights. Meanwhile the separation from her son appears to be taking its toll on Madonna, who has been forced to dispel reports that she was intoxicated during her recent Rebel Heart tour performances.
The star also broke down in tears on stage during a concert in New Zealand earlier this month as she dedicated her song La Vie en Rose to her Rocco. "There is no love stronger than a mother for her son," she told the crowd.