In today’s blog, we take an inside look at a celebrity custody battle that has been circulating in the news. We are referring to the very public and sometimes spiteful child custody battle for one-year-old daughter, Royalty, between Chris Brown and Nia Guzman. To give you a little context behind the legal drama, the custody action came about because Chris turned down Nia’s request to up her child support from $2,500 to $16,000 per month. Therefore, she sought to restrict Chris’s access to their daughter by pointing out that Chris was unfit to be a co-parent given his alleged drug use and gang affiliation. Thus, Nia was requesting that Chris be granted supervised visits instead of the current arrangement which allowed Chris to see his daughter for up to 2 weeks a month, without supervision. To make matters worse, Nia’s family broadcast the private family dispute over Royalty on social media, Brown, on the other hand, kept the back and forth banter on social media to a minimum, calling out the family for posting their private affairs online.
Given Chris’s troubled criminal past which includes a laundry list of issues including convictions for domestic violence, combined with the fact that he hasn’t been the primary caregiver for Royalty makes the odds look slim that Chris would be awarded his request to maintain the current arrangement. Further, Chris failed the drug test he was required to take as a part of the custody battle. However, Chris was adamant that he has prescriptions for the two drugs found in his system. But Nia was quick to bring attention to the fact that Chris’s home has been broken into twice recently at gunpoint and it was an unsafe environment.
However, it seems the court was happy with Mr Brown’s parenting and it opted to maintain the current arrangements for unsupervised contact. I It was also confirmed that Royalty’s last name will now officially be Brown. With respect to financial arrangements, Chris has agreed to be financially responsible for all of Royalty’s upbringing needs such childcare and education but the child support payments will remain at $2,500 per month. Given the judgment, we think it’s fair to extrapolate that the judge was looking at the case in terms of the best interests of the child. Therefore, allowing a shared custody arrangement is preferable to the sole custody route, especially if the other parent is motivated to making it work.
The case raises some interesting questions for consideration. How common is it for courts to deny a mother requesting full custody of her child? Does the fact that this is a celebrity custody battle change the stakes of the game? Is it fair for private custody matters to become a public spectacle over social media?
If you find yourself in any of these scenarios and need some guidance, please contact a specialist at Grayfords.