Breaking up is rather difficult, whether you're famous or not. And the situation is even more complicated if you've got children. Deciding who the children will live with, as well as determining which parent will have most of the financial responsibility, is never an easy task. And when you're a celebrity, it's not uncommon that huge payouts are part of a divorce in which children are involved.
Since money and love are two of the things that seem to get people riled up pretty easily, it's no surprise that some celebrity custody battles can get ugly. It's interesting and kind of sad that two people who once had such affection for each other can turn into mortal enemies when it comes to who gets the house or who becomes the primary custodial parent. Fortunately, some of these former couples have been able to put their differences aside, after their emotional outbursts, for the sake of the kids. But that doesn't mean that some of these custody proceedings haven't gotten brutal, and some have even gone on for way longer than they should have.
These 10 celebrities, who are known for entertaining us, were anything but amused when engaging in these legal challenges concerning the custody of their children. However, the custody battles were interesting to many of us, to say the least.
10 Kelly Rutherford and Daniel Giersch
9 Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee
8 Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards
7 Dwyane Wade and Siohvaughn Funches
6 Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
After the Pop Princess and her backup dancer husband decided to call it quits on their marriage, Britney Spears was awarded physical custody of the pair's two sons. However, Kevin Federline accused Britney of abusing alcohol and drugs while the boys were in her care. In 2007, Spears lost custody of her sons when she was pulled over and caught driving without a license. Chances are Federline's previous accusations about Spears' substance abuse helped the judge make the decision to take away primary custody. It's no secret that Britney has been in the news over the years for possible mental instability. But she seems to be getting things back on track with her long-standing performance stint in Vegas. She's been cited spending more quality time with her boys these days, as well.
5 Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry
The stunning actress and Revlon spokesperson has a daughter named Nahla, with her ex-boyfriend, model Gabriel Aubry. The couple broke up in 2010, and a judge ordered Halle to pay Gabriel child support for Nahla in the amount of $20,000 per month. It would seem that this amount would indicate that Aubry has sole custody of Nahla, but he and Halle have joint custody. Berry is now married to actor Olivier Martinez, who had a widely publicized physical altercation with Aubry. Halle requested that she and Nahla move to France, where Martinez is from, perhaps to get away from the drama. However, her request was denied in court.
4 Usher and Tameka Foster
R&B superstar Usher, and his ex-wife and former stylist Tameka Foster got divorced in 2009. However, the custody battle over their two sons was alive and well long after their marriage. The in-court fighting lasted for years, and both parties made some pretty serious accusations, including a history of violent behavior and infidelity during the marriage. Whether or not all of these claims are true is debatable, and the former couple are likely the only ones who know what truly happened. But when the smoke cleared, Usher was granted primary custody of their children. The two have since decided to be civil, and Usher served as a source of moral support for Foster when she lost her son from a previous relationship due to a jet ski accident.
3 Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger
2 Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown
When one of the greatest voices of our time married one of R&B's bad boys in 1992, many were skeptical. The marriage lasted until 2007. The pair were a constant fixture in the media for their alleged drug use and legal troubles, even though Houston continued to make her mark in the music industry with timeless hits. Houston and Brown were known for getting into arguments with each other, and in 2003, Brown was arrested for allegedly hitting Houston. However, no battle between the two was as complicated as the one for the custody of their daughter, Bobbi Kristina. After a series of court proceedings, Houston was awarded both physical and legal custody of Bobbi Kristina in 2007.
1 Michael Jackson and Deborah Rowe
Debbie Rowe likely couldn't have imagined the constant media attention she'd get when she married the King of Pop and had two children with him. The former nurse will likely always be known as the mother of Michael Jackson's kids. The pair got married in 1996 and divorced in 1999. At this time, Rowe voluntarily gave up all legal rights to the children she and Jackson had together-a son named Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., and a daughter named Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson. But she began a legal battle to get visitation rights in 2003, when Jackson was accused of child molestation. Three years later, a private settlement was reached. The child visitation agreement allegedly stayed in place until Jackson's untimely death in 2009.