These couples seriously fought for their kids in court, and they had to do it all in the public eye. See former couples like Heidi Klum and Seal, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and more who had some of the biggest custody battles.
We’re sure these couples never thought that they would be fighting it out in court over custody of their children, and yet they had to endure their high-profile fallout in the public eye. These former celebrity couples had custody battles that went from the confines of the courtroom to the front page, with some still going on to this day. That’s why we’re breaking down some of the biggest celebrity custody battles.
Right now, stars like Heidi Klum and Seal, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are enduring the latest chapter in their respective custody battles. These cases have been drawn out for quite some time, and they can be just as complicated, too. So let’s dive in and take a look at some of these intense cases.
Heidi Klum & Seal
After nine years of marriage, Heidi and Seal chose to call it quits in 2014 and had the difficult task of trying to come to an agreement when it came to custody of their children — Henry Günther Ademola Dashtu Samuel, 14, Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel, 13, Lou Sulola Samuel, 10, and Heidi’s daughter from a previous relationship Helene Boshoven Samuel, 16. Although the two developed a co-parenting system following their 2014 divorce, Seal has recently objected to new stipulations. Heidi wanted to take the four children with her to Germany to film the next season of Germany’s Next Top Model but Seal had major objections to the move.
Now, Heidi and Seal are back in court to determine the best way to move forward. In court documents obtained by HollywoodLife, Heidi described her children’s time with their father as “sporadic at best.” Seal, born Henry Samuel, hit back at his ex, claiming that she has a “hidden agenda” for wanting to take her kids so far away from him in the middle of a global pandemic. Although the pair did agree to joint custody after their divorce, Heidi made it clear that the children spend most of their time with her. With the initial documents filed on August 19, this latest chapter in Heidi and Seal’s custody battle could go on for some time before an agreement is reached.
Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie
The saga of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s custody battle has been ongoing for the last few years. Since their 2016 divorce, Brad and Angie have been going at it in court, trying to determine a final custody agreement they can both agree on for their children — Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt and Knox Léon Jolie-Pitt, 12, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, 14, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, 15, and Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, 16. It’s important to note that the former couple’s eldest adopted child, Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt, is now 19 and legally an adult.
Currently, Angie has made an attempt to delay the former couple’s forthcoming custody trial by trying to have the judge removed from their case. Court documents obtained by HollywoodLife detail that the actress wanted the Judge John W. Ouderkirk removed, as he allegedly, “failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel.” Prior to this latest chapter in the one-time high-profile couple’s public court dealings, Brad was investigated on child abuse charges, of which he was cleared, and the couple chose to have their court documents sealed for privacy provisions.
Jon & Kate Gosselin
Although their reality show is over and done, there’s still plenty of drama between Jon and Kate Gosselin. The former couple split in 2009 and share twin daughters Cara and Madelyn, 19, and sextuplets Leah, Collin, Joel, Alexis, Hannah, and Aaden, 16. The two have been in and out of court for roughly 12 years at this point, with each levying new allegations against the other. Currently, Jon and Kate’s son Collin is staying with his dad, with Jon alleging that the 16-year-old has “no contact” with his siblings. While Kate has seemingly shaded her former husband for “destroying” their twins’ lives.
In November 2019, Jon even levied the accusation that Kate wanted custody of their eight children to “sustain” her fame. Yikes! In February 2020, Jon shared with ET, “I pretty much go to court every month over some custody dispute or something like that. It’s getting better now that the kids are getting older,” he said. “So what my attorneys and hers decided is [that] custody is left up to my children. So, if they decide to go live with mom or they decide to live with dad, it’s up to them.”
Britney Spears & Kevin Federline
Considering everything she has endured in the public eye, it’s difficult to imagine that there was a time when Britney Spears did not have custody of her two sons — Sean Preston Federline, 14, and Jayden James Federline, 13. After their divorce was finalized in 2007, Britney had an incredibly difficult time adjusting to her and Kevin Federline’s custody agreement. This even led to a standoff with police where Britney was unwilling to let her two little boys go see their dad. 2007 was also the year that Britney infamously shaved her head and attacked a car with an umbrella. Consequently, a judge granted Kevin sole custody of the former couple’s sons, until July 2008 when Britney was granted visitation rights.
Since that time, however, things have seemingly smoothed over between Britney and her former husband. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Britney has really connected with her two boys. Plus she was more than happy to quarantine for two weeks before reuniting with her sons after they spent time with their dad. “Britney and Kevin have had their issues, but [over] the past couple of years things have been smooth between them,” a source shared EXCLUSIVELY with HL. “Britney feels like her boys are both such well-behaved, sweet kids; she knows that she and Kevin are raising them right, and she’s very proud of that.”
Halle Berry & Gabriel Aubry
She might be one of the most respected actresses in Hollywood, but Halle Berry endured an incredibly difficult child custody battle over her first child, daughter Nahla Ariela Aubry, 14, with former partner Gabriel Aubry. After their highly publicized split in April 2010, the couple became involved in a harsh custody battle. Halle initially wanted to move with her daughter to France in order to be with Olivier Martinez, whom she was dating at the time.
Gabriel completely objected to the request, saying that it would interfere with their joint custody agreement. Halle’s request was denied, and two weeks later Gabriel and Olivier were each taken and treated at a hospital after getting into a physical altercation. By November 2012, Halle and Gabriel finally reached an amicable agreement that met both of their needs. In June 2014, Halle was order to pay Gabriel roughly $16,000 a month in child support.