A major change. Teen Mom 2 alum Jenelle Evans was awarded custody of son Jace, 13, after more than a decade of her mom, Barbara Evans, being in charge of her eldest son’s care.
“My mom and I decided together to grant full custody back to me because we want to build our relationship back as mother and daughter,” Jenelle, 31, exclusively told Us Weekly in a statement on Saturday, March 18.
The former MTV personality shares Jace with ex Andrew Lewis. Jace will live with his mother and her husband, David Eason.
“Also, my mother agrees it’s time for Jace to be back with his siblings and living with a mother and father,” Jenelle continued. “She also thinks it’s important for Jace to be around a father figure to learn ‘boy things’ and have ‘men talk.’ She has seen the way David parents my children and she knows we’re able to handle it. We want to all get along for the sake of the children and like I said before, building back our relationship as mother and daughter. We have officially signed the papers on Thursday, March 16th at the courthouse, it’s a done deal!”
The reality TV star is in a stable relationship with Eason, her manager said. “Jenelle and David are definitely together and things between them are great. They’re a happy family and they are completely fine,” August Keen told Us in an exclusive statement on Saturday.
Soon after Jace’s September 2009 birth, the North Carolina native — then 17 — gave legal custody of her eldest child to her mom.
MTV viewers watched as Jenelle and Barbara fought over Jace for years while the Teen Mom 2 cameras rolled, with Barbara frequently complaining that her daughter didn’t do enough to care for him and Jenelle accusing her mom of not allowing her to parent him. Throughout the drama, the Read Between the Lines author’s substance abuse and rocky romantic relationships only caused more tension between her and her mom — and impacted her relationship with Jace.
In 2017, the YouTube personality — who is also mom of son Kaiser, 8, whom she shares with ex Nathan Griffith, and daughter Ensley, 6, whom she shares with Eason — appeared to be at a stable place in her life. She and Eason had purchased property, recently became parents to Ensley and were about to get married. Barbara, however, wasn’t invited because she didn’t feel comfortable giving Jenelle custody of Jace.
“I can’t forgive someone that’s just not going to give me back my son, so, and it’s still going on. It hasn’t been resolved,” the former MTV personality explained to Us at the time. “And if I had custody of him now maybe I would have invited her, but I’m not at the moment.”
Two years later, more drama rocked the Eason home when Jenelle’s husband shot and killed their family dog, Nugget, after he bit Ensley. After the May 2019 incident, Jenelle and David temporarily lost custody of their children. Their custody was reinstated two months later.
“I am ecstatic to regain custody of my kids,” Jenelle exclusively told Us at the time. “Throughout this long process and final decision, I am excited to be moving forward and continuing to show America I’m a good parent.”
Two years later, Jenelle explained that Jace was living with her and Eason more often amid the coronavirus pandemic because the teen’s behavior “wasn’t the best at my mom’s house,” she revealed in a YouTube video at the time.
“We gave him many, many, many chances, and told him he better behave, and my mom just — she was fed up,” the OnlyFans content creator shared. “And she called me and she said, ‘Yeah, that’s it, he’s misbehaving again. I don’t know how he’s going to do his schoolwork and pass if he keeps it up.’”
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With reporting by Sarah Jones