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Pool incident leads to custody battle for Usher

Even though it was an innocent pool-related accident, the end result legally was enough to cause the ex-wife of famed R&B singer Usher to file an emergency request seeking child custody of their two children.

An Atlanta judge, however, dismissed the emergency request that, if granted, would have seen that the children's mother, Tameka Foster Raymond, take over custodial rights.

Raymond requested the hearing after the couple's 5-year-old son was caught in a pool drain while in the care of Usher's aunt. Then, following a hearing in which the Grammy-award winning singer and Raymond took the stand, Fulton County Superior Court Judge John Goger dismissed the request for temporary primary custody and decision-making authority.

Groger stated that he had doubts anyone could have prevented the accident. Nonetheless, the judge advised Usher to keep Raymond informed of his whereabouts and who might be supervising the children.

According to an Atlanta police report, the child, Usher Raymond V, fell to the bottom of the pool and became stuck in the drain. After a housekeeper tried unsuccessfully to free him, a contractor who was working at the home, pulled the boy from the pool and performed CPR.

According to court documents, the filing said the boy "suffered a near-death accident" while left unsupervised, although contrary to what Raymond claimed, Rena Oden, who is Usher's aunt, was poolside watching the children when the older child became stuck in the drain.

The pool accident occurred nearly a year after Raymond's 11-year-old son, who is Usher's stepson, died from injuries in a boating accident.

Raymond went onto state Usher as very uninformative regarding their children, suggesting that as the singer travels frequently, he uses caregivers, such as his aunt, who are unqualified to supervise young children.

At that same time, the judge stated he believed Raymond's caregiver standards were unusually high, pointing out many people leave their children with family members.

The couple married in 2007 and divorced two years later. They went through a lengthy child custody battle, in which Usher last year was awarded primary custody of their two sons.

If you are involved in a child custody dispute, the correct legal representation is paramount to reveal and protect your side of any dispute.

Source:  ABC News, "Usher's Custody Battle Back In Court" Kate Brumback, Aug. 09, 2013

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