IT would be a “very great tragedy” if any more of the “precious and fast receding days” of Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s son Rocco’s childhood were taken up by a custody dispute, a High Court judge has said.
The 57-year-old singer wants the teenager to return to live with her in the US after he remained in London with his father after a visit.
Litigation had begun in London and New York but Mr Justice MacDonald ruled that the English proceedings could be halted.
The judge analysed the latest round of the dispute at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London earlier this month.
He was asked to decide whether he should allow English proceedings to draw to a close – or whether he should make decisions about Rocco’s welfare.
No-one involved was in court when the ruling was handed down but Mr Justice MacDonald pleaded with Madonna and Ritchie to try to settle the dispute.
He said the youngster was a “very great credit” to his parents and urged Madonna and Ritchie to spend time enjoying his company.
Lawyers have told him that both had outlined proposals for negotiation.
More court hearings are expected to be held in New York.
“At the root of these proceedings … is a temporary breakdown in trust,” said the judge in his ruling.
“For all the media coverage, comment and analysis, this is a case born out of circumstances that arise for countless separated parents the world over.”
He added: “I renew, one final time, my plea for the parents to seek, and to find, an amicable resolution to the dispute between them.”
“Most importantly … 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.
“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.”
When Madonna and Ritchie divorced in 2008, it was agreed that Rocco would live with his mother.
However, while the Queen of Pop has been on a global tour in recent months Rocco has been pictured in London with his father, his wife Jacqui Ainsley and their three children. SkyNews