A judge has weighed in on the custody battle between Madonna and Guy Ritchie over their teenage son Rocco Ritchie. While he was not able to settle their dispute, British High Court Judge Alistair MacDonald did have some suggestions for the pair.
People magazine reports that the judge released a ruling on Monday in which he warned both Madonna and her ex-husband against prolonging their custody battle any more than they needed to. He said that doing so may cause both parents to miss out on Rocco's formative years, as "the boy very quickly becomes the man." MacDonald suggested that Madonna's legal proceedings against Richie in Europe be dropped and continue in the United States. He did not, however, say whether or not Rocco, 15, has to go back to living with his mother in New York. The teen has been given back his passport so that he may do so if he would like.
"As I observed during the course of the hearing, summer does not last forever. The boy very quickly becomes the man. It would be a very great tragedy for Rocco if any more of the precious and fast receding days of his childhood were to be taken up by this dispute," MacDonald's ruling reads. "Far better for each of his parents to spend that time enjoying, in turn, the company of the mature, articulate and reflective young man who is their son and who is a very great credit to them both."
This is the second time a judge has critiqued both Madonna and Guy for their handling of this very delicate situation. According to the Telegraph, New York City judge Deborah Kaplan admonished both parents for putting their son in the middle of their feud. Kaplan reminded Madonna and Guy that Rocco had initially requested that this be settled "in the most private way possible." She, too, urged the former husband and wife to resolve their differences quickly.
Madonna and Guy's court drama began in December 2015. The Mirror states that the "Living For Love" singer was on the road for her Rebel Heart tour and brought Rocco along. After a few shows the teen is said to have gotten bored and flown to London to be with his father. He then refused to return to New York City, at which time Madonna sought legal help. She appeared before a judge who ordered that Rocco fly back to his mother's for the holidays, despite Guy's lawyer's claims that his son had "expressed very clearly that he does not want to return to New York." Rocco returned briefly, but is rumored to have fallen out with his mother over embarrassing photos she posted of him on Instagram. He decided that he ultimately wanted to return to London to be with his father, and Guy and Madonna have been going at it ever since. Their custody battle slowed down briefly in February but quickly heated up again.
Throughout the entirety of their feud, Madonna has shared several throwback photos of her son, writing captions like "Tu me manque" — which translates to "I miss you." She is also said to have broached the subject during recent concerts. For his part, Guy has been quiet about the custody situation.