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March 25, 2006

Sambora / Locklear 48

Richie Sambora is sticking to his guns when it comes to his parental rights.

The Bon Jovi guitarist responded to his estranged wife Heather Locklear's divorce petition in documents filed last Friday, requesting joint physical and legal custody of the couple's eight-year-old daughter, Ava.

Locklear had previously requested physical custody of the child with visitation rights for Sambora.

The Melrose Place alum filed for divorce from her rocker hubby on Feb. 2, citing irreconcilable differences. The split came after months of denials from the twosome that anything was amiss in their union.

Sambora's documents note the date of the couple's official separation as Dec. 26, 2005, a date that Locklear's filing had listed as "T-B-D."

Both halves of the couple agree that a prenuptial agreement they signed the day before their Dec. 15, 1997 wedding should be enforced.

Last month, Sambora filed documents challenging the objectivity of the first judge assigned to handle his divorce case.

Locklear followed suit earlier this month with a similar complaint, alleging that the second judge assigned to the case was prejudiced against her.

The couple is believed to be moving towards having their split handled by a private judge, a course of action increasingly popular in celebrity circles. (See: Brad and Jen; Nick and Jessica; and Charlie and Denise.)

With a private judge presiding, A-listers can generally avoid the discomfort of having the details of their divorce proceedings made available for public consumption.

The split marks the second divorce for Locklear, who was previously wed to M�ley Cr� drummer Tommy Lee from 1985 to 1992. This was the first marriage--and divorce--for Sambora.

Posted by riesambo at March 25, 2006 10:38 AM