Mark Sanford and his ex-wife will try to settle custody battle in mediation, report says
The Republican congressman was supposed to appear in court Monday
He made a highly public Facebook post last week about their legal disputes
Three days after U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford revealed personal details about legal disputes with his ex-wife, the South Carolina Republican’s scheduled court hearing Monday was postponed.
A family court judge in Charleston, Daniel E Martin Jr., told reporters that the two parties will attempt to work out their issues through mediation, according to CNN affiliate WCSC-TV.
Marie-Louise Ramsdale, an attorney for Sanford’s former wife, Jenny Sanford, confirmed to CNN that the hearing was continued but declined to offer more details on the case.
Sanford announced online Friday in a lengthy Facebook post that he was being summoned to court in what he described as “yet another lawsuit” from his ex-wife as part of a long-running custody battle.
Also in the Facebook post, Sanford wrote that the complications had placed a strain on his relationship with his fiancée, Maria Belen Chapur, and the couple had called off their engagement.
The two got engaged in 2012, a few years after Sanford – then the governor of South Carolina – publicly admitted he had been cheating on his wife with Chapur, who’s from Argentina.
Chapur said over the weekend she didn’t know Sanford was going to share the break-up with the world through Facebook and found out about the post through media reports.
The origin of the breakup was a disagreement over a wedding date, Chapur told The New York Times. She had wanted to wed sooner, but Sanford wanted to wait another two years until his youngest son would no longer be a minor and at the center of the custody fight.
According to Sanford’s Facebook post, Jenny Sanford’s attorneys were asking the court to place more requirements on the congressman’s visits with his youngest son – criteria that included taking “psychiatric and psychological evaluations.”
“Mrs. Sanford has always put their children first and will always stand up for the boys’ best interests and safety,” her attorney said in a statement.
“Mr. Sanford’s Facebook post directly contradicts his filing in court on Friday (before he posted on Facebook) wherein he requested a gag order regarding this case for, as he stated, ‘the protection of our sons,’ ” she continued. “Apparently, he only wants a gag order after he has publicly laid out his position and disparaged my client.”