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Mel Gibson Settles Child Custody Dispute with Ex-Girlfriend

Thursday, September 08, 2011

In an end to what is one of the bitterest child custody disputes that Pasadena divorce lawyers have come across, Mel Gibson has settled his child custody dispute with his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva. No doubt, the settlement was hard to reach, considering that this dispute involved allegations of domestic violence by Oksana Grigorieva and battery charges against the actor.

Both the star and his ex-girlfriend arrived at the Los Angeles County Superior Court where attorneys announced their settlement. Under the terms of the settlement, Oksana Grigorieva will live at Gibson's California home until their daughter, Lucia, who is currently two years old, reaches eighteen years of age. When that happens, the house will be sold and the proceeds of the sale will be put into a trust for the child. Gibson will also pay Oksana Grigorieva $750,000 in three installments.

Gibson and Grigorieva had been involved in a relationship that resulted in the birth of their daughter. However, in 2010, allegations of domestic violence began to emerge after Grigorieva claimed that Gibson had hit her and broken her tooth. In March, the two ended up in court where Gibson admitted that he slapped his ex-girlfriend during an argument because of his concern for his child. He entered a no-contest plea, and was sentenced to three years of probation. The pair broke up and agreed to a $20 million settlement.

The dispute between the two at some points grew so ugly that it was hard to believe any settlement would be reached at all. Among other things, Gibson alleged that Grigorieva tried to extort money from him beyond the settlement amount.

California Child Custody, Divorce Disputes Will Now Take Longer to Resolve

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Family law disputes, including those related to child custody and divorce, are likely to take a much longer time to be resolved after the San Francisco Superior Court announced financial cutbacks.  This means that people who want a quick resolution of their dispute will have to pay for expensive private judges.  Similar delays are likely in other parts of the state as well. 

This week, San Francisco Superior Court presiding Judge Kathleen Feinstein announced cutbacks in order to close a $13.75 million deficit.  As a result, all types of cases, including family law-related cases, are likely to move at a snail's pace from this point on.  For instance, uncontested divorce proceedings are now likely to take eight months to settle, while child custody disputes, which used to earlier settle in about six weeks, now take six months to be completed. 

Those San Franciscans who want to get their family law disputes resolved quickly will have to shell out big money for private judges.  Having a private judge could cost between $2,500-$10,000.  That is not counting your California family lawyer’s fees and other legal costs.  Those who can't afford those kinds of fees will find that their divorce or custody dispute drags on for months.

What's more, judicial budgets are being slashed across the state, and as a result, there may be such cutbacks and consequent delays in the resolution of family law cases across California.  Alameda County Superior Court is likely to have its budget slashed by $6.7 million, while at Santa Clara Superior Court, judges are talking of cutbacks of close to $7 million.  Similar cuts are in the pipeline for other jurisdictions as well.  The Judicial Council of California is meeting soon in San Francisco to discuss the distribution of financial cutbacks across the state.

Halle Berry Claims Child Custody Agreement Violations

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Halle Berry's estrangement with her boyfriend Gabriel Aubrey has been marked by a series of child custody disputes over their three-year-old toddler.  Earlier this year, the two agreed to a formal resolution of their dispute and a solution that was best for their daughter.  Unfortunately, this happy state of affairs did not last long.  The actress is now back in court, accusing her ex of violating the child custody agreement.

According to news reports, the actress is claiming that the child's father does not have good parenting skills and has put their daughter at risk.  The Oscar-winning actress's lawyer has submitted documents that spell out clearly Aubrey's less-than-excellent parenting skills and instances of alleged neglect. 

According to these documents, Berry is specifically concerned for the safety of the child when she's with her father.  The documents spell out specific instances of neglect, including some instances that occurred overseas when Gabriel acted recklessly, putting his daughter at risk.  Berry now wants the judge to find Aubrey in violation of the child custody order.  The judge has set a date for a hearing on the matter.

No child custody dispute can be completely insurmountable if the parents involved can set aside their egos to focus on the well being of the child.  Fortunately, Los Angeles child custody attorneys often find that many parents are willing to put aside their differences, and focus exclusively on what's best for the child and work towards a common agreement.  However, in those cases where parents are not willing to find a common path towards their child's good, the court may have to step in.  In such cases, only an intervention by the court can help ensure that the child’s best interests are protected.

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