The world's media turned out in great force to greet the pair, who divorced acrimoniously when Ms Yates started a new relationship with the pop singer Michael Hutchence.
First to arrive for the hearing in Court 45, Bob Geldof, dressed in a three-piece tweed suit and sporting a devore scarf, who entered quietly through the back door of the Royal Courts of Justice away from most journalists.
His ex-wife, Paula Yates, 34, who recently returned from Australia to, in her words "fight for her children" faced a barrage of photographers and cameramen as she entered the courts through the main entrance.
With the photographers jockeying for the best shot, the scene rapidly descended into near chaos.
In the ensuing melee a camera was broken, a photographer was cut and the Yates entourage briefly walked down a dead- end into the Lions Den - the photographers' enclosure. Eventually a court policeman led Ms Yates to the court precincts.
The one-time television presenter, whose new partner is in Australia promoting his band, INXS, and by whom she has a two-month old daughter, Heavenly Hiraani, was in tears after running the media gauntlet.
Attired in a simple black dress, dark sunglasses and drop pearl earrings she too made no comment on this latest stage in the Yates-Geldof saga.
The three-hour and 20-minute hearing, which adjourned at 4.15, was to decide who gets temporary custody of their three children, Fifi Trixibelle, 13, Peaches, aged six, and four-year- old Pixie, until full proceedings are heard.
Last week, Mr Geldof, 41, won a temporary injunction concerning the three children. That injunction followed news of an alleged drugs bust at his former wife and new partner's London residence.
The hearing continues today.