Jesse Williams and Ex-Wife Aryn Drake-Lee's Child Custody Request Settled
By Mona Khalifeh
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Jesse Williams and his ex-wife, Aryn Drake-Lee, have settled their child custody dispute.
According to court documents obtained by ET, Williams and Drake-Lee will continue to share custody of their 8-year-old daughter, Sadie, and 6-year-old son, Maceo, but Williams will have "tie-breaking authority" when it comes to issues like "COVID-19" protocols for their kids.
Williams' request to modify his custodial schedule was granted by a Los Angeles Super Court judge, allowing the Grey's Anatomy star to be able to spend time with his kids while working on the Broadway production of Take Me Out, later this spring.
Per the judge's ruling, Williams will now have four consecutive days per month with his children in New York, with two of those days being weekends.
This comes after Drake-Lee's initial request to reduce Williams' custodial time was denied. But the judge did approve her request to set a strict cancellation policy when it comes to spending time with their kids.
According to the docs, if Williams "cancels some parenting time, he cannot later 'uncancel'" unless there is a mutual agreement in writing.
The two parents must also "meet and confer" in regard to planning extracurricular activities for their children, and if an agreement cannot be reached, that's when "tie-breaking authority" will go to Drake-Lee to make the final decision.
"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, 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," the docs read.
The judge also encouraged both Williams and Drake-Lee to seek the help of a "third-party coordinator or counselor" to help them fine-tune their custody and visitation orders.
"Finally, the Court reiterates that the coparenting counseling order is possibly the most important aspect of the orders being made at this time. 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 advised. "Of course, if the parties cannot agree they can come back to court."
The settlement is the latest update in the pair's often contentious co-parenting relationship. In April, the actor and the real estate broker -- who were married from 2012 to 2017 before splitting -- were ordered to participate in an educational course called Between Two Parents, designed specifically as a "high conflict parents program," after several disagreements over their custody arrangement.
The six-session online course was created to teach parents who have divorced different conflict resolution tactics and skills to ease the stress of separation on their children.
Their divorce was finalized in October of 2020 after the pair had been involved in a lengthy battle and reached an agreement in September 2019.
Williams got to keep the $936,810 he had earned from Grey’s Anatomy since their 2017 split. Williams was ordered to pay $40,000 per month in child support and, after settling two outstanding payments from 2019, would no longer have to pay spousal support.