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Klum-Seal divorce spurring child custody confrontation

It's official. Supermodel Heidi Klum and singer Seal have filed for divorce. Couples in Arizona who may be considering similar action might also wish to take note of the fact that while this high-profile couple had given indications that their split would be an amicable one, it's apparent that not everything is going along smoothly. Child custody issues have sprung up.

Klum officially filed for divorce earlier this month citing irreconcilable differences as the reason. Up until that point, the official word had been that the couple had only separated. Observers had hinted that Klum's motivation for separating was to shield their four children from her husband's reportedly touchy temper. Then she filed the formal papers.

In her documents, Klum seeks sole physical custody of the children. She and Seal would maintain joint legal custody and he would have visitation rights under the Klum scenario.

Reacting to the filing, Seal submitted his own set of papers. In them he counters Klum's proposal by seeking joint physical custody of the offspring, both adopted and natural. Some legal experts suggest that this effectively prevents Klum from moving back to Germany with the youngsters.

Whether anger or some other issues are at the heart of Klum's decision to end the marriage is now irrelevant. The reality is that the battle lines appear to be being drawn and it appears that the children could be the rope in a coming tug of war. There are some who say Seal may also press for some money from Klum. Both are reportedly worth double-digit millions.

However the struggle plays out it is important to keep one thing in mind. The overriding premise family courts use in deciding child custody matters is what is in the best interest of the children. In Arizona, if the couple can agree on child custody issues the court is generally inclined to accept their terms.

Source: Celebs.Gather.com, "Seal and Heidi Klum Divorce: He Retaliates with Own Legal Papers," April 10, 2012

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