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WASHINGTON CHILD CUSTODY CASES MAY RESEMBLE CELEBRITY DIVORCE

Celebrity housewife Adrienne Maloof, who is going through a divorce, has asserted to the court in a recent petition that her husband has a very short temper and that he has used physical force against her, and possibly their children in the past. Such allegations are not uncommon in Washington and elsewhere during a bitter divorce, particular when child custody is an issue. This case is on the West Coast, and the couple, Maloof and Paul Nassif, star in the reality television series "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."

The accusations from Maloof came when she asked the court for primary child custody of the couple's three children. She submitted declarations to the court that her husband had pushed the children and that he used force against her. Maloof included statements purportedly made by one child that alleges that Nassif choked him. After hearing from supportive witnesses, the court awarded Maloof temporary custody of the children and issued a restraining order against her estranged husband.

As could be expected in such a matter, the father of the children, Paul Nassif, disagreed that he had acted in the manner in which he was accused. In fact, he asserted that he was not in the vicinity when the actions that were alleged took place. However, the court decision was made after an authority asserted that at least one child had reiterated the story about the choking incident.

The custody of the children will continue to be discussed as the couple moves through the divorce process. Like such matters in Washington, the couple will be expected to negotiate agreements for issues such as child custody and support. If they are unable to reach an agreement, the court will then be tasked with making a final child custody determination. When parents can utilize their resources to reach an equitable settlement, the process may be made easier; however, that is not always the case. Whether Maloof and Nassif, or any other parents, can reach an amicable decision aside, the court will seek what is in the best interests of the children first and foremost.

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