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Making sense of Grimes’ cryptic child custody claims against Elon Musk

Making sense of Grimes’ cryptic child custody claims against Elon Musk

It turns out that even Elon Musk and Grimes are vulnerable to ordinary human hassles like child custody disputes, as evidenced by the ethereal singer going to court to sue the billionaire over a matter regarding their three young children and her petition to establish “a parental relationship.”

During their three-year relationship, Musk and Grimes (who’s known in court documents by her real name Claire Boucher), tried to portray themselves as intellectually superior beings who presumably were highly evolved on matters of the heart and procreation.

But the publicly available records in San Francisco Superior Court suggest that the Tesla CEO and his ex-girlfriend are just like other aggrieved ex-partners. They’re having trouble working out how to co-parent their children, who, in their case, are ages 3 and under and bear the highly unusual, space-age names X Æ A-Xii, Exa Dark Sideræl and Tau Techno Mechanicus.

Indeed, reports and Grimes’ since-deleted social media posts indicate that the situation has become rather ugly, with allegations that Musk is being a controlling bully. In posts last month on Musk’s X platform, Grimes alleged that he wasn’t allowing her to see one of their children and threatened to take him to court unless he let her see her son or responded to her lawyer. She said the situation was “utterly ripping my family apart.”

It now appears that Musk hasn’t consented to Grimes’ request, given that she has taken him to court. The San Francisco Standard reported that Grimes filed a “petition to establish parental relationship” on Sept. 29.

This petition raises many questions, including whether Grimes first needs to establish a parental relationship with their two younger children because they were born via surrogate.

But Los Angeles-based family law attorney Christopher Melcher expects that Musk and Grimes already filed petitions in court, before each of these younger children was born. The petitions would have identified them as father and mother. These petitions are used to protect parents against, for example, their surrogate later coming forward to claim that she’s the real mother because she gave birth.

Melcher said Grimes’ request to establish “a parental relationship” probably has nothing to do with the surrogacy. He said this request is routine in cases when couples are not not married and is usually filed alongside demands for child support and custody rights.

The mere fact that Grimes filed this petition suggests that the couple are locked in a dispute over custody or child support that they haven’t been able to resolve amicably and out of court.  “There no reason to file the petition unless there is a dispute about custody and support,” Melcher said.

The exact nature of the dispute may stay under wraps, as the records are not available to the public, The Standard said. TMZ said it appears that Grimes is setting up a situation to have a judge establish custody rights and child support. Unless there is a finding that Grimes is an unfit parent, she would almost certainly have some custodial rights, TMZ said. In fact, judges usually award both parents joint custody.

If Grimes is complaining about Musk being inflexible when it comes to parenting, many would say she could have informed herself better before she chose to have three children with him. For starts, the tech mogul has had 11 children with three different women and has expressed the belief that declining birth rates are a threat to human civilization and that “smart people” like himself need to populate the earth with as many children as possible.

Musk’s first wife, Canadian novelist Justine Wilson, characterized him as a difficult, controlling and patriarchal. Musk and Wilson, who were married from 2000 to 2008, had six children together, the first of whom died at age 10 weeks of sudden infant death syndrome.

Wilson said Musk grew up in the male-dominated culture of South Africa and has a “will to compete and dominate.”

Musk is reportedly estranged from their 19-year-old transgender daughter due to his polarizing comments about gender identity issues. Last year, the daughter petitioned a court in California to recognize her new name and gender. She also said she no longer wanted to “live with” or “be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.”

Musk didn’t seem to think that he was in any way responsible for their estrangement, telling the Financial Times that his child’s decision to distance herself from him was caused by “neo-Marxists” at educational institutions.

Musk also has 22-month-old twins with his current partner Shivon Zitis. The twins were born shortly before Grimes and Musk welcomed their second child, daughter Exa Dark Sideræl Musk. She was born in December 2021, via a surrogate.

According to the new biography of Musk by Water Isaacson, Grimes apparently only learned that Musk and Zilis had twins together at the same time as the rest of the public — even though Zilis gave birth while Grimes and Musk’s surrogate was just down the hallway in the same maternity ward, Jezebel reported.