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The Tragic Custody Battle of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown: Implications for Your California Separation

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2014 | Child Support


When “Bodyguard” singer, Whitney Houston, passed away last year, the entire country went into mourning. In addition to her legacy of creating wonderful music, Houston will be remembered for her acrimonious, lengthy divorce and custody battle with hip-hop icon, Bobby Brown. Houston and Brown were married for 14 years, before they official separated in 2007.

After their divorce, an Orange County Superior Judge granted Houston custody of their then-teenaged daughter, Bobbi Kristina. Houston tearfully testified that Brown could not take care of their daughter. She told the judge: “he is unreliable … if he says he’s going to come, sometimes he does. Usually he doesn’t.” During their rocky marriage, both Brown and Houston confronted serious, public drug and alcohol issues. Houston entered into drug rehab programs twice, and Brown was arrested on drug and alcohol charges. Brown also famously had to file for bankruptcy, after he accrued a fortune estimated to be worth at least $33 million.

Bobbi Kristina later inherited her mother’s fortune, including her “clothing, personal effects, jewelry, automobiles, and all insurance policies” – and publicly disassociated herself from her father.

This sad celebrity tale raises practical questions. What happens when both parents in a child custody case prove inept or unable to take care of their children?

Depending on the nature of the accusations, both parents can lose custody, and the child can become a ward of the state. The Court always wants what’s in the best interest of the child.

Unfortunately, child custodies battles can easily devolve into painful “he said, she said” battles. To make sure that your ex abides “plays fair” and to resolve your case effectively, turn to the attorneys at Dinnebier & Demmerle for legal assistance.

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