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Judge's wish Guy and Madonna can solve son dispute

By Brian Farmer

A High Court judge says he hopes that Madonna and her ex-husband Guy Ritchie can settle a dispute relating to the future of their 15-year-old son Rocco.

Mr Justice MacDonald said it was his "fervent hope" that the singer and film producer could have discussions and reach an "amicable resolution".

The judge is analysing the dispute at private hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Similar hearings have taken place in New York following the launch of family court litigation in the United States.

Mr Justice MacDonald considered a number of legal issues during a hearing yesterday.

Another hearing is scheduled for later this month.

Mr Ritchie, a film producer, was at the hearing - but neither Madonna nor Rocco was in court.

A judge in New York has heard that Rocco is living with his father in England.

Lawyers told Mr Justice MacDonald that Madonna wanted the teenager to return to live with her in the US and had issued an application in England under an international legal convention.

They said the singer now wanted to withdraw that application and bring the legal proceedings launched in England to a close.

The judge said he had to decide whether the proceedings launched by Madonna in England should end - or whether he should make decisions on teenager Rocco's welfare.

"It would be my fervent hope that discussions between the parties can reach an amicable resolution," Mr Justice MacDonald told the court on Thursday.

"An amicable negotiated resolution is definitely the way forward and in Rocco's best interests."

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