It appears that supermodel Gigi Hadid may file her case for custody against musician Zayn Malik in the New York Courts. The couple most recently broke up after an altercation between Zayn and Gigi’s mother, Yolanda. In October Gigi’s mother, pressed charges against Zayn for an alleged verbal and physical altercation which occurred between them in front of the couple’s child Khai, a 13 month old infant. During the dispute Zayn also apparently had a phone call with the mother Gigi wherein they engaged in a verbal altercation for which he was charged with harassment. Zayn pleaded no contest to the charges filed by Gigi and her mother and will serve probation and complete anger management classes as a result. Here is how the New York Family Court may decide the couple’s custody matter.
The New York Family Court Act governs a custody disputes filed in the Family Courts. Because Gigi and Zayn were never married, the New York Supreme Court would not be hearing the matter. New York Family Court will consider the best interests of the child to determine custody. The court looks at the totality of the circumstances. Some of the factors the Court may consider are:
- The quality of the home environment
- The parental guidance the custodial parent provides for the child
- The ability of each parent to provide for the child’s emotional and intellectual development
- The financial status and ability of each parent to provide for the child
- The relative fitness of the respective parents
- The effect an award of custody to one parent might have on the child’s relationship with the other parent
The existence or absence of any one of these factors is not determinative. In this case both parties appear to be wealthy and will have no problem providing for the child. Zayn was caring for the child while Gigi was out of town, so he does have the capacity to parent. However, Zayn’s domestic violence incident in front of the child will weigh heavily against his favor. He was ordered to engage in anger management classes so his mental health may also be a factor that weighs against him in the custody dispute. Some news reports indicate Zayn’s music label has fired him over the domestic violence incident. Both Gigi and Zayn must work long hours when employed and travel frequently but the child is young and can travel with either parent without interfering with school. It will be up to Zayn’s lawyer to argue that the domestic violence incident involving Gigi’s mother, should not be indicative of his fitness as a parent. Gigi does not appear to have a history of such similar behavior. The factors appear to favor Gigi, however in order to avoid negative publicity it is likely the parties would settle their custody dispute and end up with a joint custody arrangement where Gigi may be primary custodian of he child.
If you are seeking custody of your child or to modify an existing custody agreement based on New York or Michigan Law, contact Attorney Diana Mohyi for a consultation.