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Usher wins latest challenge to his child custody rights

California readers are likely familiar with the work of acclaimed R&B performer Usher. The singer is known for his stage presence and chart-topping hits, but has also made headlines in recent years over a lengthy child custody battle with his former wife. The pair went before a family court judge in a recent hearing, after a motion for emergency temporary custody was filed.

Usher gained primary custody of his two young sons last year. In a recent incident, his 5-year-old son was involved in a pool accident while in the care of Usher's aunt. The boy's hand became stuck in a pool drain, and at least one household worker was unable to free the boy. A contractor working at the property was able to pull the child free, and also performed CPR at the scene. When emergency responders arrived, the child was conscious and breathing, and was taken to an area hospital for treatment. 

The boy's mother filed for emergency temporary custody the following day. In a recent hearing, she argued that Usher does not tell her where he is or who is caring for the boys in his absence. She asserted that the boys are left in the care of individuals not properly trained to care for children, and that they were not properly supervised at the time of the recent accident.

Usher argued that his aunt was with the boys at the time of the accident, and that he was working at a recording studio nearby, not out of town as his ex wife claimed. A judge found that the pool incident was simply an accident, and may not have been preventable no matter who was present. Usher was able to retain his child custody rights, but was ordered by the judge to improve his communications with the boys' mother in the future. This case serves as a reminder to California parents that child custody matters can continue long after a custody determination has been made, and that both sides need to be prepared to wage or defend a child custody claim when the existing arrangement does not seem to be in the best interests of the child or children involved.

Source: Time, "Judge Sides with Usher in Child Custody Battle," Kate Brumback, Aug. 9, 2013

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