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Judge gives ruling on custody battle between Madonna and Guy Ritchie

The dispute over the custody of 15-year-old son Rocco has been highly publicised

Olivia Blair
Monday 21 March 2016 11:40 GMT
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Madonna
Madonna (Getty)

Madonna can bring legal action launched in England over the future of 15-year-old son Rocco to an end, a High Court judge has ruled.

The singer is currently in a custody dispute with her ex-husband Guy Ritchie over where Rocco should live.

Judges have heard how Rocco left his mother's Rebel Heart world tour at the end of last year to visit his father in London and has remained there. Madonna wants the teenager to return to live with her in the US but earlier this month asked for legal proceedings in England to end.

Litigation had begun in both London and the United States and on Monday Mr Justice MacDonald ruled that the English proceedings could be halted.

The judge analysed the latest round of the dispute at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London earlier this month. He was asked to decide whether he should allow English proceedings to draw to a close or whether he should make decisions about Rocco's welfare.

During his ruling, Judge MacDonald said: "At the root of these proceedings... is a temporary breakdown in trust. 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.

"I renew, one final time, my pleas for the parents to seek, and to find, an amicable resolution to the dispute between them." According to the Press Association, the judge said it would be a "tragedy" if any more days of the teenager's childhood were taken up by the dispute.

The judge echoes the plea from New York judge Deborah Kaplan who earlier this month called on the singer and director to reach an agreement. She told both parties: "No one is disrupting his household other than the inability of the parents to reach a resolution."

No-one was in court on Monday when the judge handed down his ruling. Lawyers told him both parties had outlined proposals for negotiation.

More court hearings are expected to be held in New York.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.

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