Usher, custody battle, court battle(CP)

Children are an expensive investment but lucky for Usher, he made almost $50 million last year.

Despite being one of the richest artists in the music business, the R&B singer's stubbornness over petty money issues with ex-wife Tameka Foster has landed him smack dab in the middle of a nasty custody battle that's playing out blow by blow before our very eyes.

The vicious soap opera - which has already stirred up accusations of drug use, bridesmaid sex and violent food fights - could have all been avoided in the first place if the singer hadn't angered his ex by cutting off her credit cards and refusing to increase child-support payments for their children, four-year-old Usher V and Naviyd, 2.

That's not to say Foster wins the Mom of the Year award for trying to take away the star's access to his kids out of what appears to be spite - far from it - but what's a little more money out of Usher's pocket each month if it means saving his kids from one day reading about how much their parents hated one another?

He'd be wise to settle now and save on his kids' therapy sessions later; the line of thinking French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault must have had when he abruptly pulled the plug on his custody battle with supermodel Linda Evangelista, who was famously demanding almost $50,000 a month in child-support payments.

If Usher's bitterness for his ex sees him stubbornly stay the course, things are bound to get even uglier, as witnessed by Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger's years-long tug-of-war for their daughter Ireland. Do we really need things to deteriorate to the point Usher is calling his kids rude, thoughtless little pigs on their voicemail?

Of course, there's the opposite end of the spectrum where we find actress Nicole Kidman, who pretty much handed over her children to Tom Cruise after their divorce in 2001 amid rumours she was desperate to avoid a nasty battle backed by the Church of Scientology.

Is it possible Usher could find some middle ground somewhere for the sake of his children? Play nice with their mom even though he wants to lob the food right back in her face. Reinstate the woman's Saks card, throw the kids some more coin each month and for the love of God, keep his shirt on in front of the nannies.

Usher's kids need a father in their lives and the world certainly doesn't need any more messed up celebrity offspring.