Monday, February 23, 2009

Lisa Wu Hartwell Files for Custody of Two Sons Fathered by Keith Sweat

Keith with the two sons.

“Real Housewives of Atlanta” co-star Lisa Wu Hartwell filed for custody of her two sons (Jordan, 14, and Justin, 11) with How You Doin' ex-husband Keith Sweat last Thursday.

Lisa says her life is different now; her life is more stable. In addition she has money - thanks to "Housewives" and marrying Ed Hartwell. Plus, she's kicked that alleged drug problem.

Her court pleading, says, in part:
“The best interest of the minor children will be served by modifying the current custody and visitation provisions to make Mother the primary physical condition of the minor children. Since the time of the Divorce Decree, Mother has remarried, owns a successful business and will provide a stable, loving, and nurturing environment in which she can raise the minor children.”

She is seeking “primary physical custody and joint legal custody with final decision-making on all issues regarding the minor children.” She will “reasonably engage Father in good faith discussions before any final decisions are made concerning the children's welfare.”

Just in case the court rules against her primary custody request, Lisa has a back-up plan: She's asked the court for child support as well.

In 2003, Sweat received primary custody of the children. According to the final divorce decree written by Fulton Superior Court judge Cynthia D. Wright, Sweat and Wu Hartwell married in 1992 and had the judge termed at the time an “extremely tumultuous relationship.” Wright wrote that “there is evidence that Father has been violent towards Mother, but no evidence he has ever been violent with any of his children.”

The judge felt the children at the time “lacked structure in their lives, due in substantial part to Mother’s numerous business ventures and frequent trips out of town ... Mother has a history of spending money on herself excessively rather than providing for the children ... There was some evidence at trial that Mother implicitly participated in robbing Father in the presence of the children. She also took money from Father prior to the initiation of this matter. This behavior causes the Court to question Mother’s maturity and judgment.”

Although Sweat, too, travels frequently, the decree said Sweat's mom helped care for the children. “Father is capable of providing a stable, secure home environment for the boys where their care is not delegated to random third parties,” the judge wrote.

Lisa has had visitation rights and has said in past interviews she sees her sons frequently. Neither boy was shown on camera or even talked about on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” because Sweat would not give her legal permission to do so.

Fasten your seat belts, racers, we expect this case to go down to the wire.



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