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Celebrity child custody dispute is ended by Court Order

Child custody cases in California and elsewhere are challenging matters for the family law attorney. Such cases in the state reflect a wide variety of facts and circumstances. Child custody disputes between celebrity parents are possibly more prevalent in this state than anywhere else.

Celebrity parents usually run into the same typical legal issues that come up in most custody cases. A recent dispute may illustrate the point. The court battle between Tyrese Gibson, a cast member of the "Fast and Furious" movie franchise, and his ex-wife Norma Mitchell over custody of their minor daughter was recently ended by order of the presiding judge. The court dismissed a restraining order against Gibson and ordered a resumption of the parents' prior 50-50 custody arrangement.

The court, after hearing testimony in the custody dispute, ruled that allegations that Gibson emotionally and physically battered his daughter were clearly unsubstantiated. That kind of a clear-cut order in a domestic violence matter is unusual due to the often-conflicting evidence that is presented in custody matters. The judge's denial of the ongoing injunction against Gibson was an apparent rejection of Mitchell's claims that Gibson had in the past pushed her down the stairs, struck her and hit her in the face.

The court indicated that the domestic violence charges not related to the child were too "remote in time" or failed to satisfy the required evidentiary standards. The judge held that there was no ongoing pattern of abuse despite the admittedly acrimonious relationship of the parents. The mother had accused Gibson of inflicting corporal punishment on his daughter when she visited Gibson in his home in Atlanta.

The actor's attorney argued that Gibson simply gave his daughter a spanking for an incident in which she stole money from her own piggy bank. The 50-50 child custody arrangement does not necessarily mean that the parties will share physical custody on a perfectly equal time basis. It is more likely a shared custody arrangement where both parents will equally participate in the decisions and care of the child, which is a common provision found in California custody orders.

Source:, "Judge restores Tyrese Gibson's shared custody of daughter", Nancy Dillon, Nov. 17, 2017

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