As co-parenting arrangements go, the one between Armie Hammer and soon-to-be-ex-wife Elizabeth Chambers sounds simultaneously like one of the most agonizing and most luxurious ones we can think of. For the time being, at least, it’s working out OK for Hammer, who reunited with daughter Harper and son Ford over the weekend.
“Free at last!” Hammer wrote on Instagram Sunday, after completing a mandatory 14-day quarantine in the Cayman Islands before he could see his family.
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Hammer had previously shared that he was in quarantine last week before marking his first time getting to see his kids since he left the islands in July, after he and Chambers announced their split.
Now, why would a couple splitting up agree for the kids to stay in a country so far away from their father? It’s all about the pandemic. Though Hammer has been away for months, the Caymans are actually his home turf, not his wife’s. He grew up in the tropical paradise from ages 7 to 14. And when COVID-19 first swept through the world in March of last year, the family had been visiting his dad and his dad’s new wife.
“We got stuck down there during quarantine,” Hammer told British GQ. Which, there are worse places to get stuck, but the Caymans were one of the countries that took lockdown super seriously, keeping everyone in their homes and away from its famous beaches. “So it was a really concentrated family time, which is really great with the kids, but it was intense.”
As everyone who was also in lockdown with a partner knows, a relationship on shaky grounds does not stand much chance under those circumstances. And considering how “trapped” Hammer said he felt on the island, we can see why he decided to leave over the summer.
But that intense lockdown had a good side, too. Cases in the Cayman Islands have been extremely low, which meant that eventually, life for many living there could return to normal (unless, of course, you happen to be one of the large number of people there who rely on tourism for your living). Children there could start in-person schooling in the fall, which was reportedly why Chambers chose to stay there.
“They’re actually attending the same school Armie attended,” a source told Us Weekly in November. “If they were in L.A., they’d be looking at a computer screen all day.”
While according to Chambers’ Instagram, it looks like 6-year-old Harper is still attending her Los Angeles school via Zoom, 3-year-old Ford is going to pre-K in person on the island. Harper is enjoying other freedoms, however, such as having an actual birthday party at an equestrian center. As cases rose to new heights in California last month, and hovered around zero in the Caymans, this seemed like a pretty good parenting decision. If you had the means, wouldn’t you consider it?
That’s why it seems like Hammer decided to leave things be for now. He did file for joint custody in October, reportedly asking for Chambers to return, but then backed off.
While Chambers got her way in that round, we wonder if there’s a new conflict ahead for the exes. The second part of Hammer’s latest post says that due to his New Year’s resolution, “I will not be posting pictures of my children for their safety and for their well-being.” The kids’ mother, meanwhile, is posting away. Uh-oh.
All of this is to say that, wow, Cayman Islands looks gorgeous at this time of year. But even in paradise, divorce sucks.
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