Elena Samodanova Requests Primary Custody of Her and Gleb Savchenko's Kids

Time for a change? One year after seeking joint custody of her and Gleb Savchenko’s two daughters, Elena Samodanova is now requesting primary custody of the little ones.

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The So You Think You Can Dance alum, 37, requested a change to their visitation schedule with Olivia, 10, and Zlata, 4, on Monday, December 13, noting in documents obtained by Us Weekly that she wants to have “primary custody of the minor children with alternating weekends … [and] two weekday visits with the minor children … with first right of refusal when [Savchenko] is unable to exercise his custodial time.” (The former couple previously settled on joint legal and physical custody when their divorce was finalized in October.)

Samodanova cited her ex’s busy work schedule for the desired change as the Dancing With the Stars pro, 38, “travels extensively” for the show.

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“It is in the best interests of Minor Children to be in the care of their mother rather than a babysitter while [Savchenko] is unable to exercise his visitation due to long work schedule and travel,” she wrote in the documents. “[His] schedule changed, and he [is] not available to take care of our daughters. Due to [his] long work hours and travels in 2022, he is unable to exercise custody pursuant to current parenting plan. Notwithstanding the foregoing, [he] refuses to amend the schedule to allow our daughters to remain with me and insists that they live with his nanny while he is working long hours traveling for much of 2022. It is not in best interests of our children to live with a babysitter while [he] travels for work and it is not reasonable for [him] to insist on this arrangement while I am available to care for them full-time.”

Samodanova also mentioned their eldest daughter’s recently failed tests and absence from school, writing, “[Savchenko] has failed to assist Olivia with homework or to take her to the school on time.”

The choreographer also requested an increase in her child support payments to reflect the desired custody modification, as well as $10,000 for attorney fees.

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She and the ABC personality wed in 2006, announcing their split 14 years later. “We tried to make it work. There were several times we broke up, we lived separately for a little bit,” Savchenko told Jana Kramer during a June podcast episode. “I tried my best to make it work, she tried her best to make it work. … When the energy is not there, there’s really nothing — just kids — holding you together. That becomes the end.”

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