Only 2,500 euros in maintenance: Here’s why Elon Musk wants his custody dispute with ex-girlfriend Grimes to be heard in Texas

Elon Musk accused Grimes of moving to California with two of her 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren this year to avoid the custody battle in Texas , according to court documents obtained by Business Insider. Musk initially sued Grimes in Texas in September to establish the “parent-𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥 relationship” with their three 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren.

Weeks later, Grimes filed a countersuit against Musk in California, demanding physical custody of the 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren. In October, she informed a Texas judge that Musk had custody of their three-year-old son, X Æ A-Xii, over her objection.

Texas or California? The answer determines the amount of maintenance

Family law experts previously told Business Insider that the first dispute in the case would likely be over which US state has jurisdiction: California or Texas. The outcome of this dispute could have significant consequences for Musk, as California and Texas have different caps on 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥 support.

In Texas, the maximum monthly 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥 support limit for three 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren is $2,760, and Grimes and Musk have three 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren together. That would be 2,540 euros in 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥 support per month. In California , however, there is no maximum limit, meaning that a person like Musk — the richest man in the world — could be ordered to pay an extremely high amount.

On Monday, Musk filed an amended motion in which he stated that Texas was the proper venue for the custody dispute because that was the 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren’s home state when he filed his first motion.

According to Musk, the 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren were often in Texas — Grimes says otherwise

The petition also says Grimes has claimed not to be a resident of Texas “in an apparent attempt to evade the jurisdiction of this Court.” While many of the specific dates in the petition were redacted, it says Grimes moved to California with two of the 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren sometime in 2023. She has not returned to Texas.

Son X, who is often pictured with Musk in public, stays with his father in Texas, the application states.

The petition states that she and the three 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren have been in Texas for at least six months, even though Grimes and two of the 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren are currently in California. Most importantly, they were with Musk, and so Texas is their home state.

However, Grimes’ countersuit states that the three 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren have been living with her in California since December 31 of last year. The date Grimes and the 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren moved to California could affect which state is considered their home state, and therefore affect the outcome of the case.

Musk and Grimes could spend months arguing

Peter Walzer, a partner at Walzer Melcher with experience in complicated and high-net-worth family law cases, says Musk’s motion relies on the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, which are agreements between states that dictate where custody and 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥 support cases should be heard.

States have different versions of these laws, but both the California and Texas UCCJEAs state that a 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥’s home state is the state in which they lived for six consecutive months prior to the custody proceeding. Walzer said Musk and Grimes could spend months proving which state the 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥ren actually live in.

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