These Celebrity Custody Battles Got Real Ugly, Real Fast

A divorce involving kids is tough on any family. It’s particularly tough when the parents in question have above-average assets and the spotlight on them 24/7.

These celebrity custody battles took a turn for the worst, especially this singer and her ex-husband’s (page 5). Plus, the update on the current custody agreement between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (page 7).

1. Robert Kardashian and Blac Chyna

Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna arrive at her birthday celebration

Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna had an ugly custody battle. | Greg Doherty/Getty Images

  • Kardashian and Chyna have a rocky relationship history
  • Their daughter, Dream, was brought into the crossfire

Kardashian and Chyna posted cryptic Instagrams about their pregnancy only five months after they started dating. The only thing that seemed to move quicker than their relationship was their separation. Unfortunately, it involved a custody battle over their daughter, Dream.

TMZ reported Kardashian got over 50% custody and pays $20,000 a month in child support to Chyna. In return, Chyna dropped her domestic violence charges against Kardashian for reportedly pushing her to the ground during an argument.

2. Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise

  • Holmes allegedly divorce Cruise because she was scared for her daughter, Suri
  • She won full custody of their only child together

Reports claim Tom Cruise was taken by surprise when Katie Holmes filed for divorce in 2012. The couple led a relatively quiet life together for two high-profile actors, and Cruise allegedly agreed to most of the divorce proceedings in order to keep things simple for the family. He was granted “generous visitation rights” according to People, while Holmes got full custody.

Some blame their divorce on Cruise’s close relationship to Scientology, a controversial religion he and actor John Travolta share. Holmes told Town & Country that Suri is the most important person to her. “Her upbringing is paramount to my work right now. It’s very important to me that I’m present and she has a stable, innocent childhood.”

3. Jon and Kate Gosselin

  • The Gosselin family rose to fame on their reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8
  • Their divorce involved the custody of their eight children

It’s the battle that never ends. The two reality stars continually make headlines for their dramatic custody battle and its endless nature. When they initially separated in 2009, Jon and Kate planned to keep their eight kids in the Pennsylvania home and rotate who stayed with them to give their children a level of stability.

It didn’t last long, however, and when they finalized the divorce, Kate won custody of the family home and their children. In 2016 the two made headlines for a violent incident during a dentist trip. Next, Jon accused Kate of “brainwashing” their children against him. The most recent update: Kate is suing Jon for $137,000.

4. Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith

  • The couple shared a daughter who was 19 at the time of their split

Melania Griffith and her third husband, Antonio Banderas, divorced when their daughter, Stella, was 19. There was no custody battle over their adult child, but Banderas was required to pay $65,000 a month in spousal support to Griffith.

They finalized their divorce after divvying up their Aspen home and a Picasso painting (both went to Griffith) as well as pencil drawings by Picasso and Diego Rivera (Banderas took those). They split the proceeds from selling their Los Angeles home.

5. Britney Spears and Kevin Federline

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline

The exes are still fighting over custody. | Vince Bucci/Getty Images

  • The couple had two boys together
  • Their messy custody battle is still going

Spears filed for divorce From Federline in 2006 and requested physical and legal custody of their two sons. Federline filed a response requesting the same privileges and the battle began. The couple reached a global settlement and finalized their divorce in 2007 as the court granted Federline sole physical custody of the boys.

Spears had a 2008 meltdown and refused to relinquish her children to Federline and was hospitalized under the influence of an unknown substance. As a result, Federline was granted sole legal custody as well. Spears, who has visitation rights, pays around $20,000 in child support each month. Recently, however, Spears revealed she believes Federline is trying to take advantage of her: he’s requesting she nearly double her support payments.

6. Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee

  • Anderson accused Lee of multiple lies in an attempt to get custody
  • The two eventually agreed on joint custody

The ex-Motley Crue member and former model had a highly publicized and nasty divorce that was exacerbated by the fact they involved their kids. Throughout the custody battle, Anderson accused Lee of being a “danger to others” especially when drinking as well as infecting her with hepatitis C.

Lee denied all of the accusations and called Anderson out for “doing more harm to her children … by trying to use the media as a tool.” The two eventually agreed on joint custody of their three children and both pursued new relationships.

7. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

The pair are still fighting over their children. | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

They were only married for two years, but Jolie and Pitt have been creating a family for over a decade. The two share six children, three of which are adopted. Jolie and Pitt announced their divorce in 2016 and court documents revealed Jolie requested physical custody of the six children.

Recently, however, a judge ordered new restrictions on Jolie lest she risks losing custody. A judge in the ongoing divorce case said “it is critical that each of [the six] children have a healthy and strong relationship with their father and mother,” and that Jolie must allow Pitt to foster this relationship. Experts believe the judge’s statement indicates Jolie is keeping the kids from Pitt.

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