Singer, Gwen Stefani and her ex-husband, Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale, are trying to reduce the ‘misery’ of ‘people at war’ and mediate their child custody problems years after finalizing their divorce. But, how does a court resolve child custody disputes like this?
The Chemicals Between Us
A source tells E! News the pair are “going to mediation” because of disagreements regarding their three son’s upbringing. They don’t agree on custody and the time the kids are spending with each of them.
Since Gavin recently finished his tour with Bush and will be home more often, he wants more time with their three sons. However, the source says, “Gwen believes that she provides a consistent living environment and that the kids should be with her the majority of the time.”
“They are older now and taking their school work and activities seriously. She thinks Gavin still very much lives a rock star lifestyle and it’s in the kid’s best interest to be with her.”
More importantly, the source says, “She wants to raise the kids a certain way and it’s very challenging because Gavin has different priorities.”
The Little Things of Florida Custody
I’ve written about child custody issues before. In 2008, Florida modified its custody laws to get rid of outdated and negative terminology about divorcing parents and their children to reduce animosity.
The law did that by creating new legal concepts such as “shared parental responsibility, “parenting plan”, and “time-sharing schedule.
Shared parental responsibility, is similar to joint physical and legal custody, and is a relationship in which both parents retain their full parental rights and responsibilities. Under shared parental responsibility, parents are required to confer with each other and jointly make major decisions affecting the welfare of their children.
In Florida, shared parental responsibility is the preferred relationship between parents when a marriage or a relationship ends. In fact, courts are instructed to order parents to share parental responsibility of a child unless it would be detrimental to the child. Issues relating to children’s timesharing are major decisions affecting the welfare of children. When parents cannot agree, the dispute is resolved in court.
At the trial, the test applied is the best interests of the child. Determining the best interests of a child is no longer entirely subjective. Instead, the decision is based on an evaluation of certain factors affecting the welfare and interests of the child and the circumstances of the child’s family.
For these parents, courts will want to know how long the children have lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining that continuity. Where the parents live is also very important, especially with school-age children.
Also, what are the home, school, and community records of the children, and which parent provides a consistent routine for the children, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime.
Following their split in 2015, the boys have spent a majority of their time with Gwen in Los Angeles while Gavin has toured with Bush and completed a brief stint as a judge on The Voice U.K.. Gavin touched on this when he talked to The Sun’s Fabulousmagazine.
“It was weird because I had to go and make a home from scratch that could compare to the great one they already have. That was the challenge for me as a dad.”
Gwen has since found love with country singer Blake Shelton, who gets on very well with the boys. The couple has even taken vacations with the children together.
The E! News article is here.