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September 21, 2012 05:30 PM

The increasingly bitter divorce drama enveloping Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stars Adrienne Maloof and Paul Nassif is “becoming a bit of a circus,” according to one half of the couple.

On Friday, Nassif took to his Facebook page to vent his thoughts about the custody battle surrounding the couple’s three sons, claiming they are being used as “pawns.”

“The phrase ‘All is fair in love and war’ must have been penned by a divorce attorney,” he writes. “I’m very disappointed in the ridiculous tactics that are being used that potentially compromise my relationship with my children. I hate to see others using them as pawns.”

A judge on Wednesday awarded temporary custody of the children to Maloof – and a restraining order forbidding Nassif to have contact with his sons – after she alleged that Nassif choked one of the boys last week.

In his Facebook post, Nassif denies the claims. “It continues to amaze me how so much of the hoopla surrounding a reality show is in reality, unreal – including the absurdity of the latest utterly false accusations by Adrienne’s attorney which we will vigorously address in court,” he writes. “It is becoming a bit of a circus, isn’t it?”

Maloof’s rep, Howard Bragman, counters, telling PEOPLE: “I think the court documents speak for themselves and we are not going to go into the gutter with Paul. We are going to fight this in the court of law where it belongs and do what’s best for the children.”

Saying he will remain focused on the well-being of the couple’s children, Nassif said, “I’m sure all will be fine and when all the emotion of the moment dies down, Adrienne and I will be terrific co-parents.”

A source close to Maloof, however, says Nassif’s vow to keep the children’s interests in mind is just lip service. “He keeps saying he’s going to do what’s best for the kids, but everything he does has been the best for him,” says the source. “He’s flailing and afraid and he rightfully should be. You don’t do this to the kids. ”

The source says that for now Maloof is “happy the kids are with her. She wants to do everything in her power to protect her kids. ”

A source close to Paul tells PEOPLE he plans to “go back to court and fight” the temporary restraining order against him. “He will put forth witnesses that will be absolutely as credible as anyone she’s putting forward. It looks like both sides are digging in for a fight, a battle royale.”

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