A judge finalized Whitney Houston’s divorce from Bobby Brown yesterday morning, citing “irreconcilable differences? and ordering that the divorce be effective as of April 24.
The City News Service reports that Bobby Brown did not appear in the courtroom, and that sole custody of the couples’ 14-year-old daughter was granted to Houston.
The Superior Court hearing in Orange, California was reportedly brief, lasting only about twenty minutes, and Houston reportedly testified that she didn’t need spousal or child support to raise her daughter, Bobbi Kristina.
Houston reportedly told the judge that"it’s very difficult to communicate” with Brown.“He’s unavailable … He doesn’t keep his word. If he says he’s going to come, sometimes he comes, most of the times he doesn’t,” she said. “His schedule is erratic. I don’t know where he’s going to be at any point in time.”
When Brown fails to appear, the couple’s daughter is “very disappointed,” Houston added.
The divorce with Brown will become effective six months from the day Houston filed papers to end their nearly 15-year marriage, and Brown will reportedly get reasonable visitation rights, by order of Judge Franz Miller.
According to a report in the L.A. Times, the judge said that Brown might be ordered to pay child support in the future, should there be a need.
Attorney Ram F. Cogan, who observed the proceedings on Brown’s behalf, reportedly asked to postpone the proceeding to allow him to file a motion to set aside the default judgment that Miller had entered in the divorce case in December, after Brown failed to respond to the petition that Houston filed on Oct. 16.
It is reported that Houston’s attorney, Stephen Kolodny, successfully argued the hearing should go forward because Brown ? initially represented by a Georgia attorney not admitted to practice law in California — had “done nothing else” to contest the petition.
Access Hollywood received confirmation from Houston’s rep on the date of the final divorce, the lack of spousal support and Houston’s custody of Bobbi Christina, but the rep had no further statements.