Madonna's Xmas war
Madonna and Guy Ritchie are still locked in a bitter battle over who will have their two sons over Christmas and where they will live permanently
Madonna and Guy Ritchie are locked in a bitter battle over who will have their children for Christmas.
The British director is determined the former couple's sons - Rocco, eight, and adopted David, three - will enjoy a traditional British festive holiday with him, but Madonna is adamant they should spend the holidays with her and her 12-year-old daughter Lourdes - from her previous relationship with fitness trainer Carlos Leon - in New York.
A source close to the couple - who had the first stage of their divorce granted at a London high court in November - is quoted by Britain's Daily Mail newspaper as saying: "Under the terms of the divorce, it is actually up to Guy and Madonna to sort out the access.
"It's not set in stone who has the boys on which days. The agreement is that Guy gets them four or five days a month in London, but that he can see them in New York, making the time anything up to two weeks a month.
"They are at a total stalemate. Madonna and Guy simply do not liaise at all on anything anymore - it all goes through their personal assistants."
The couple are also reportedly stuck because Madonna cannot legally take the children to live permanently in the US unless Guy or an English court gives permission.
It has been suggested Guy, 40, may insist Madonna, 50, buys him an apartment in New York as part of a deal to allow the three children to live in the city.
Under the terms of the divorce - which was settled out of court - the pair are believed to have divided their property equally, with Guy taking none of his ex-wife's estimated £300 million fortune.
In the custody battle, 'Miles Away' singer Madonna is being represented by Fiona Shackleton, who has previously represented Sir Paul McCartney and Prince Charles in divorce cases.
Guy has hired top lawyer Helen Ward alongside Stephen Cobb QC, an expert in the international relocation of children.
Another source said: "Both sets of lawyers have still got their heads down. It is very complicated."
Although it is unlikely the case will go to court, if Madonna does win the right to take Rocco and David to the US, there is the prospect of legal hearings in New York.