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    Whitney's Divorce Gets Seal of Approval

    As far as Whitney Houston's concerned, broken hearts could do themselves a favor by going to Orange County.

    That's where a judge signed off Wednesday on the terms of the Grammy winner's divorce from estranged hubby Bobby Brown, awarding her custody of the couple's 14-year-old daughter, Bobbi Christina, and setting Apr. 24 as the day when Houston is officially free to dance with somebody else.

    Houston, who in December requested a default judgment to speed up the process of becoming single, reportedly got rather emotional during the hearing, dabbing her eyes with a tissue and refusing to speak to reporters outside the courtroom.

    According to court documents filed by Houston, 43, she and Brown, 38, had a prenuptial agreement preventing them from amassing community property and paying spousal support, leaving the issue of custody as the main item on the legal agenda.

    "It's very difficult to communicate" with Brown, Houston told Superior Court Judge Franz Miller. "He's unavailable…He doesn't keep his word. If he says he's going to come, sometimes he comes, most of the time he doesn't.

    "His schedule is erratic. I don't know where he's going to be at any point in time."

    For starters, Brown wasn't in court on Wednesday. His attorney, Ram Cogan, said that he will file a petition protesting the custody ruling, which provided for "reasonable" visitation with Bobbi Christina.

    Houston, who lives in nearby Laguna Hills, filed for a legal separation in September and then divorce the following month after 14 years of tumultuous matrimony which, along with stints in rehab (her) and jail (him), charges of domestic abuse and a trial separation, included a brief foray into the world of unscripted train-wreck television in the form of Bravo's Being Bobby Brown.

    All of that wouldn't fit on a divorce petition, however, so Houston just cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. At the time, she requested sole custody of their daughter, with visitation rights for Brown.

    The already high-profile couple (Brown being at the height of his New Edition and solo artist fame at the time) tied the knot June 18, 1992.

    And while it seemed as if they almost had it all, the past year has proved just how valuable a good money manager can be.

    The as-seen-on-Bravo Atlanta home the couple shared was auctioned off in November after falling into foreclosure, days before it was reported that Houston was $1 million behind on the mortgage on a 10-acre property she owned in New Jersey.

    But while Houston is spending her days in the O.C., Brown spent three nights in a Massachusetts jail in February-March after failing to appear at a hearing to answer to ex-girlfriend Kim Ward's claim that he owed $19,150 in unpaid child support.

    Brown's brother Tommy eventually shelled out the funds to spring him from the clink, overriding a Washington D.C.-area radio station's attempt to bail Brown out and in turn employ him as a morning-show deejay for the week.

    "We spoke with his attorney…and we decided it was in both of our best interests to agree to disagree and once we talked to him this morning, it was clear we weren't on the same page. The money will now be refunded and will be given to a D.C. charity," Hot 99.5 host Kane told E! Online at the time.

    Tommy Brown, meanwhile, said that his brother was out of jail already by the time the station announced its plan to get the "My Prerogative" purveyor on board, calling it a "publicity stunt."

     

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