Judge ends Russian oligarch’s bitter custody battle with bizarre ruling

George Benaur, Benaur Law LLC

By Lorena Mongelli for the New York Post

August 19, 2016

The nasty, years-long child custody battle between a Russian oligarch and his ex-wife came to an end Thursday — as a Connecticut judge bizarrely ordered the warring parents to come to future court appearances bearing photos of their kids.

Oil and real-estate tycoon Shalva Chigirinsky and Tatiana Panchenkova have been too interested in bickering with each other rather than worrying about the well-being of their four children, Stamford Superior Court Judge Thomas Colin said.

“The parents are unfortunately occupied by their dislike and distaste of each other,” the judge said.

On Wednesday, he said that the kids — 8-year-old twins and daughters ages 15 and 9 — are “somewhere on their [parents’] mind but not at the top of that list.”

Colin ordered the parents to prominently display two family photos in the courtroom at subsequent family court hearings.

During a two-day hearing, the judge noted the kids have lived under a shroud of “distrust, hatred, anger and a lust for revenge” thanks to their parents’ four-year custody fight, marred by wild allegations of sex abuse and arrests. “It is a scary place for them,” Colin said.

As part of the joint-custody settlement that was reached, Chigirinsky can see his kids on alternating weekends and Wednesdays after school.

The billionaire must replace his Russian nanny with one who speaks English and have nanny cams installed in his Greenwich home.

He’ll also undergo “reunification therapy” with his 9-year-old daughter, whom he’s been charged with abusing. That case is still pending.

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