Robin Thicke and Paula Patton Attend Family Therapy with Son After Custody Fight
"The family attended their first joint therapy session this weekend," a source tells PEOPLE
“While Julian has remained in his mother’s care, both parties are working with a therapist who is advising on Julian’s best interest,” a source familiar with the situation says. “The family attended their first joint therapy session this weekend. Ms. Patton will continue to do what is right for her son.”
A second insider tells PEOPLE, “Robin wants to keep Julian’s best interests at heart.”
In legal documents filed Thursday, the actress, 41, accuses Thicke, 39, of physically abusing their son — which the “Blurred Lines” singer adamantly denies.
According to the documents — which include declarations from each parent, Julian’s nanny, school principal and counselor — Patton says she’s “become concerned about [Robin]’s drinking and drug use, as well as the forms of punishment he is using to discipline Julian” over the past year — specifically, spankings that Patton believes were too hard and made Julian “scared” of his dad.
A school counselor also states in court papers that Julian told her in November that his father “punches him so hard, but never where someone can see.” She and the school principal decided to meet with Patton and then to call L.A.’s Department of Children and Family Services on Jan. 4.
In his declaration, Thicke said he had “never exceeded age-appropriate discipline” with Julian and only spanked him “lightly” as a “last resort.” Thicke said he and Patton had agreed to that type of discipline.
“The Department of Children and Family Services has extensively interviewed the family, including Julian. They put no restrictions on Robin’s custody and advised Paula to follow the court orders,” Thicke’s lawyer Angela Pierce di Donato tells PEOPLE.
The source familiar with the situation confirms to PEOPLE that the DCFS investigation is ongoing. DCFS declined to comment, citing client privacy.
Thicke also claimed he had not had physical contact with Julian since Dec. 31, and that after Julian’s first day back at school on Jan. 3, Patton refused to let father and son FaceTime in private.
The former couple’s custody dispute has become increasingly fraught after a L.A. judge denied Patton’s request to limit Thicke‘s joint custody of their son.
On Friday, Thicke called authorities to Patton’s home after Julian missed his visitation with the singer the evening before and failed to arrive at school. A representative for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Lost Hills station confirmed to PEOPLE that law enforcement officials were dispatched. The representative referred to the incident as “a non-event” but said “it involved a child not wanting to go with someone.”
Thicke and Patton’s divorce was officially granted in March 2015 after a year-long separation. Their physical custody agreement gives Thicke overnights with Julian every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Following Friday’s incident, Julian remained with Patton for the remainder of the weekend.
- Reporting by MARY GREEN and SARAH MICHAUD