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Legal Breakdowns of the hottest Entertainment and Celebrity Drama – Rashida Maples, Esq.

On Tuesday Usher Raymond and Tameka Foster Raymond’s five-year-old son was involved in a serious accident that almost cost him his life. According to previous reports, Usher Raymond, V was playing in and around the pool at his father’s home. Presently, Usher has primary custody of both children he has with Tameka and they were being supervised by an aunt when the accident occurred. It was reported that the young boy jumped into the swimming pool to retrieve a toy that was stuck in a drain. While attempting to retrieve the toy, his arm got sucked into the drain, thereby trapping him underwater. His aunt is said to have jumped into the pool, along with a maid who was there as well and they attempted to free the young boy but were unsuccessful. A worker who was on the premises that day heard their cries and ultimately rescued the child from the pool and performed CPR on him. As this news hit the media, it was reported that the boy was in ICU being treated for his injuries, but he is reportedly doing fine.

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Having already lost a child last year to a water related accident, Tameka wasted no time in requesting an emergency custody hearing in Georgia to seek a modification or reversal of the previous custody order which gave primary custody to her ex-husband.

What Does This Mean?:

Despite any previous orders of the court, whenever the welfare of a child is thought to be in jeopardy, a parent or guardian may request an emergency hearing with a Judge to determine if this is in fact the case. Also, the Judge will revisit and hear any new evidence to determine what is in the best interest of the child as it relates to who has primary custody.

As the emergency hearing is scheduled for Friday, August 9, 2013, it is safe to assume Tameka will argue that Usher is not with the kids as he should be and that his failure to provide adequate care for their sons caused this accident.

According to CNN, Tameka’s motion for an emergency hearing claimed Usher “continues to excessively travel, utilizes third-party caregivers to supervise the minor children rather than personally exercising parenting time and providing supervision for the minor children.”

Additionally, she claims Usher is “not capable of providing daily caregiving and supervision for the minor children of the parties as petitioner is preparing to film a movie in Panama and has ongoing commitments that require his presence in Los Angeles, New York and various other cities for the Voice and his upcoming album.”

How Does This Affect You? :

If a previous order is in place, but things have changed which will affect the child adversely, you may motion the court for a hearing and this can be done expeditiously if dire circumstances are in play. There are numerous factors and elements that are brought into consideration in Georgia Family Courts (Superior Courts) when making a determination regarding custody which include:

  • Which parent cared for the child in the past?
  • Which parent can best care for the child in the future?
  • Who watches the child?
  • Who feeds the child?
  • Who gets the child dressed and takes him to school?
  • Who takes him to the doctor and gives him medicine?
  • Who bathes him? Who takes care of him when he is sick?
  • Who cleans?
  • Who plays with the child and helps with homework?
  • Who has contacts with the school?
  • Who spends time elsewhere?
  • Who drinks or does drugs?
  • Does the other parent have a criminal record?
  • Is either parent living with another person?

Judges are very strict when it comes to determining custody because the standard of “what is in the best interest of the child” is taken very seriously. If you are facing a custody battle or hearing to modify a previous custody order, it is very important to have extensive evidence to back your case. This includes any and all correspondence with the other parent and testimony of witnesses to any adverse actions.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates ( She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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