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Jesse Williams has reached a new child custody agreement with his ex-wife, Aryn Drake-Lee.
According to court documents obtained by E! News, the Grey’s Anatomy star and the real estate broker will continue to share legal custody of their daughter Sadie, 8, and son Maceo, 6, though Williams will have “tie-breaking authority over COVID-19 protocols” for the year if they cannot agree on things like vaccinations for their children.
A judge with the Los Angeles County Superior Court also granted Williams’ request to modify his custodial schedule so it aligns with his work in the Broadway production of Take Me Out this spring. Per the judge’s ruling, the 40-year-old actor will now have four consecutive days per month with his children in New York, with two of those days being weekends.
Though Drake-Lee’s initial ask to reduce Williams’ custodial time was denied, the judge did approve her request that when her ex “cancels some parenting time, he cannot later ‘uncancel'” unless there is a mutual agreement in writing, according to the documents. As a result, the two parents must “meet and confer” about extracurricular activities for their children, per the docs.
“Mother should appreciate that father cannot share with her certain schedules as far in advance as she would like, and that he may not always want his time with the children to be filled up with extracurriculars,” the judge’s ruling read, “and father should appreciate that mother is adapting her own schedule to meet his needs, and the children deserve to have extracurricular activities that they engage in on a regular basis, not just when mom is in charge.”
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If the parents cannot agree, Drake-Lee holds “tie-breaking authority for one extracurricular activity at a time for each of the children” this year and can use it provided that it doesn’t impede on Williams’ holidays or time with the kids in New York, per the ruling.
“The parties both seek a great deal of fine-tuning in their custody and visitation orders, much of which a court is not as well equipped to handle as the parents themselves through a third party coordinator or counselor,” the judge noted in court documents. “Of course, if the parties cannot agree they can come back to court.”
Williams filed for divorce from Drake-Lee in April 2017 after more than four years of marriage. Later that year, a judge ruled that the pair would share joint legal custody of their children and ordered Williams to pay his ex $160,000—$100,000 of which served as an advance towards spousal and child support and $60,000 served as an advance toward her attorney fees.
In January 2018, Williams was ordered to pay Drake-Lee over $50,000 per month in spousal support, as well as split the residuals he had earned in the span of their marriage. In addition, he was also held responsible for her attorney and accounting fees. Though Williams was awarded joint physical custody of their children in March 2018, he hit back at Drake-Lee’s request for more money that summer and claimed that he was already paying her too much.
Since then, the two have continued to contend over finances in court. Per People, they finalized their divorce in October 2020, agreeing to joint and legal custody of their children and that they must consult with each other before posting photos of the kids on social media.
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