Think of the child! New York Supreme Court Justice Deborah Kaplan wasn’t too thrilled about the ongoing custody dispute between Madonna and Guy Ritchie during a court hearing on Wednesday, March 2, and told the former spouses to get it together for the sake of their son, Rocco.
“Frankly, both parties have chosen to live their lives in a very public way and may welcome the publicity, but the child has not,” Kaplan said, referring to 15-year-old Rocco. “He would like this matter resolved and the issues concerning him and his family in the most private way possible.”
Neither Madonna, 57, nor Ritchie, 47, were present for the New York hearing; the “Rebel Heart” singer called in from New Zealand and her ex-husband called in from London. Neither spoke throughout the proceedings, except to confirm that they were on the line.
“No one is disrupting this household,” Kaplan continued. “The child is in school; let us try to allow him to go forward in the most normal way. We’re not forcing the child to leave school. His mother isn’t asking that.”
Rocco has only recently enrolled in a London school approved of by both parents; he previously attended school in New York.
Madonna and Ritchie pulled the plug on their eight-year marriage in 2008, and have been embroiled in a very public custody battle ever since.
The Queen of Pop took the case to court in December after Rocco refused to return to live with her in NYC after spending time with his dad in London for the holidays, and even posted a series of somber selfies to reach out to her son.
On Wednesday, Madonna’s lawyer, Eleanor Alter, argued that Ritchie’s decision not to bring Rocco back to the States as previously agreed could be construed as irresponsible.
“He taught his son that obeying court orders … is not necessarily important,” Alter said in court. “That is one of the most serious things that has happened in this court.”
For the time being, however, Kaplan ruled to deny Madonna’s request that Rocco be brought back to NYC.
“I’m encouraging the parents to resolve this matter in the best way possible for the child to take this tremendous pressure off their son,” she said.
The contentious spouses will next appear in court in NYC this summer, tentatively scheduled for June 1.
Want stories like these delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter!