Pop star Madonna's heated custody battle with her filmmaker ex-husband Guy Ritchie over their teenage son Rocco is set to continue in the United States. A U.K. judged announced the change of jurisdiction in a ruling on Monday, in which he advised the former couple to continue their case in the New York Courts, and although he didn't rule on which parent Rocco should live with, the judge made a heartbreaking plea to the A-list parents.
Madonna, 57, and Ritchie, 47, divorced in 2008 and have been involved in two separate court battles, one in New York City and one in London High Court under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, both cases involving their 15-year-old son. Rocco was traveling with his mother while the "Material Girl" set off on her "Rebel Heart World Tour," but he left the tour last December to live with his dad in London, where he was enrolled in school. A New York judge ruled that Rocco should stay with Ritchie until his parents come to an agreement, and U.K. judge Alistair MacDonald made a plea that the parents settle their differences quickly for their son's sake.
"As I observed during the course of the hearing, summer does not last forever. The boy very quickly becomes the man," MacDonald stated in his 22-page ruling. "It would be a very great tragedy for Rocco if any more of the previous and fast receding days of his childhood were to be taken up by this dispute."
"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," MacDonald continued.
He went on to explain that even though Madonna and Ritchie are A-list celebrities, their issue is one that plays out in numerous families all over the world when there is a loss of trust between separated parents.
"I renew, one final time, my plea for the parents to seek, and to find an amicable resolution to the dispute between them," MacDonald wrote.
MacDonald asked Madonna and Ritchie to come to a custody agreement between themselves in private, and if they can't come to a decision, they'll be expected to reconvene in New York on June 1 at a tentative hearing.