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Child Custody Battle Begins for Mel Gibson and Former Girlfriend

No matter what they do, celebrities are always in the news. Over the past few months, there has been one celebrity couple whose split has become widely talked about: Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva. Their split has become especially nasty with accusations of domestic abuse lodged against Gibson.

Now, Gibson and Grigorieva, who had been dating before parting ways, are fighting for child custody of their young daughter. Both are testifying in court in the hearings that began earlier today. At this point, there are a lot of allegations against both sides.

The Allegations

One of the most reported allegations was of Gibson's alleged domestic abuse towards Grigorieva. Police had been investigating whether those allegations were true after Grigorieva accused Gibson of hitting her. If those allegations are found to be true, Gibson could also be charged criminally for domestic violence.

It didn't help that some recordings were released that were supposedly of the violent arguments between the former couple. They were used to show how unstable and explosive Gibson could be towards Grigorieva. Gibson claims that Grigorieva tried to extort him to prevent the release of those recordings.

Considerations for Custody Rights

While the trial and investigation are still ongoing, it's hard to determine how the custody battle will end. In all child custody situations, the court will look at what is in the best interests of the child involved. Traditionally, courts would give more preference to the mother though recently it has shifted to consider parental rights for both parents.

Here, domestic violence accusations do not bode well for Gibson. If the court believes that he has hit Grigorieva in the past, it may determine that it is not in the child's best interest to be with her father. However, the whole situation seems like it's only getting messier. The court will also have to make sure that Grigorieva does not try to keep Gibson from seeing his daughter if Gibson is granted some sort of custody or visitation rights.

Hopefully in the end, the court will come up with a solution that keeps the child's best interest the top priority.

Source: CNN online, "Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva face off in court," Alan Duke, 10 November 2010

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