Custody Issues Around South African Girl “Ntombi” Living In Chris Rock’s House: What It Means In New York

Celebrities don’t have perfect lives. Life is complicated for them too, especially when personal issues like divorce, adoption, and custody are surfaced and reported by the media.

crock-daughter-sports-gameAccording to an article by the NY Daily News on 11/24/15, comedian and actor Chris Rock began divorce proceedings with his wife 11 months ago. He has, on record, sought joint custody for his two biological daughters. However, the legal issues we are exploring below relate to a seven year old girl named Ntombi. While not Rock’s biological daughter and never officially adopted, it is reported that she lived with the Rocks in their New Jersey home since 2008, when she was an infant.

Apparently Chris Rocks “says he has not seen the child since he and estranged ex began divorce proceedings a year ago.” Given the divorce and lack of adoption papers, what custody and adoption issues are at play? How do they relate to a similar case that may present itself in New York?

Here are some of our thoughts:

  • In New York (Rock’s case is in New Jersey), if a child is legally adopted, then you have the same responsibilities to provide child support.
  • The Court would also have to determine which parent gets custody of the adopted child.
  • If a child is not legally adopted, and the biological parents cannot be determined, the Court could order that you have adopted the child.
  • Divorcing parents would also have to determine their respective parental rights as it pertains to an adopted child.
  • The article states that the Divorce was filed in December 2014. In New York, a contested divorce typically takes between 18 months to 3 years.
  • If paternity is a question, the court would order a paternity test to determine if Rock is the biological father.

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