Former Gov. James E. McGreevey and his estranged wife went to divorce court on Friday in their first public meeting since he resigned and announced he was "a gay American."

Judge Karen Cassidy ordered the hearing to consider custody issues and other motions in the contentious divorce case between McGreevey and Dina Matos McGreevey.

"Our fears are it's going to be a media circus," McGreevey's attorney Matthew D. Piermatti said of the proceeding.

Matos McGreevey declined to comment to reporters as she arrived at the courthouse. Her lawyer, John N. Post, did not return messages seeking comment.

The former governor also declined to speak with reporters when he arrived at the courthouse alone.

The divorce has drawn intense publicity, much of it brought on by court filings in which they accuse each other of bad parenting and other misdeeds.

Each partner has written a tell-all book about the marriage, which ended in 2004 when McGreevey, then governor of New Jersey, told the world he had had an extramarital affair with a male aide. McGreevey, 49, later claimed his former lover tried to blackmail him, and said he resigned rather than succumb the man's threats. The man, Golan Cipel, denies having had an affair with McGreevey.

The McGreeveys have one child, 5-year-old Jacqueline.

Piermatti said the judge likely will decide temporary custody issues Friday. The curly headed preschooler currently lives with her mother and visits her father every other weekend.

One of the most contentious issues in the divorce is what the child should be exposed to. Her mother made McGreevey and his partner take down a nude photograph in their home, contends that Jacqueline should not be allowed to sleep in her father's bed and says the girl should not be allowed to receive communion in the Episcopal Church because she is being raised a Roman Catholic.

Matos McGreevey's memoir, "Silent Partner," hits bookstores on Tuesday. Her husband put out his own book, "The Confession," last September, saying then that he had carried on his affair with Cipel while his wife was hospitalized after a difficult child birth.