Elena Samodanova, the ex-wife of professional dancer Gleb Savchenko, has requested primary custody of their two daughters due to the Dancing With The Stars pro being “not available” to adhere to the initial custody arrangement defined in their divorce, which was finalized in October of 2021.

Court documents filed by Samodanova on Monday, which were filed because Savchenko “refused to amend the situation amicably.” Savchenko and the artist Samodanova were married from 2006 to 2020, and have daughters Olivia, 11, and Zlata, 4, together.

According to docs, they “agreed to alternate parenting time every five days.” However, Samodanova said that the DWTS star’s “schedule changed and he was not available to take care of our daughters. Due to long work hours and travels in 2022, he is unable to exercise custody pursuant to [our] current parenting plan.”

As Samodanova’s statement said, the couple initially agreed to a 50/50 parenting split and had been committed to co-parenting equally when they first announced their split in November of 2020. However, things have clearly become more strained between the two, as Samodanova also requested for their parenting plan to be adjusted in December along with requesting more child support, once again citing Savchenko’s extensive worldwide work schedule as the reason.


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Savchenko called some descriptions of his parenting in the December court filings as “misinformation being spread about me,” in a January statement. “I will be flying home one day each week to be with my kids. Furthermore, I have no plans to teach in Mexico, and no plans to participate as a judge in DWTS: Sweden,” Savchenko added.

In her Monday filing, Samodanova said that she has allowed Savchenko to visit their children when he comes to Los Angeles, and “I will continue to do so.” A hearing for this filing has been set for March 21, six days before Savchenko is set to return from his current gig: The Dancing With The Stars: Live tour.

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