U.S. Judge orders Madonna and Guy Ritchie to settle child custody of son Rocco

Rocco Ritchie, son of US singer Madonna and English filmmaker Guy Ritchie, will remain in London where he lives with his father and attends school, ruled a judge in New York who ordered the couple to settle their bitter custody fight.

During a hearing in which both sides participated via telephone, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Deborah Kaplan warned that if the ex couple do not reach an agreement within the coming months, the court will decide the future of their 15-year-old son.

Kaplan said he was optimistic that the ex couple could settle the matter for the welfare of their son, and if they do not succeed, they will have to present themselves at the court on Jun. 1, the Daily News reported.

The judge has appointed attorney Ellen Sigal as legal representative for the boy. Sigal said Wednesday in the hearing that Rocco feels pressured by his parents dispute and about the order by the judge last December that he returns to New York with his mother.

The New York newspaper also says that Eleanor Alter, Madonna’s lawyer, argued that Ritchie’s conduct was contempt of court and that he is teaching his child that it is not necessary to obey court orders and sign agreements.

She also said her client agreed to allow her child to continue attending the school in London.

The teenager accompanied Madonna during her tour, but he left her last December to return to London to stay with his father. Madonna then went to court to seek custody.

The judge reminded the lawyers that the ex couple agreed to a divorce settlement in New York in 2009 and therefore the court has jurisdiction over any custody dispute.

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