Bitter child custody disputes have become less common in North Carolina and around the country as divorcing parents and family law judges have moved toward co-parenting arrangements, but celebrity couples are often unable to resolve their differences amicably even when young children are involved. One such case involves Robin Thicke, his former wife Paula Patton and the couple’s 6-year-old son.
On Jan. 23, a judge in California denied the 39-year-old singer, songwriter and record producer’s request for temporary custody and issued a restraining order that forbids him from approaching either his son or the boy’s 41-year-old mother. These decisions are made with the best interests of the child in mind, and the judge was swayed by reports of excessive spanking the boy had received while under Thicke’s care. The boy is said to have told his mother and a teacher at his school that he did not want to go to his dad’s home because of that reason.
Thicke has denied the allegations and responded with accusations of his own. The songwriter claims that the California Department of Children and Family Services investigated Patton for emotionally abusing the boy, and his attorneys say that the DCFS is unconvinced by the spanking allegations leveled against their client.
Disputes of this kind can have a dramatic emotional impact on children, and experienced family law attorneys may urge parents involved in child custody negotiations to put their animosities aside and concentrate on what would be best for the children involved. They could also remind parents that court battles take place in public and can leave reputations tattered and torn. When a conventional approach fails to yield results, attorneys may suggest alternative methods such as mediation.