Grandmother vs. Mother Custody Battle

June 4, 2009

How do you determine whether someone is fit to be a parent? Should a parent previously ruled unfit by the court system ever be allowed to regain custody? What should you do if your parenting skills are called into question by a family member? Dr. Phil's guests are feuding mother and daughter, Barbara and Nicole, who have been battling for two years over the custody of Nicole's son, Ethan.

  

  

 

Battle over a Boy

Six-year-old Ethan currently lives with his grandmother, Barbara, 3,000 miles away from his mom, Nicole. Barbara says she needed to take full custody of the boy because she claims Nicole is an unfit mother. Nicole says her mother is a liar and tricked her into signing over custody.

 

 

How did this mother-daughter relationship deteriorate and become estranged?

 


 

List of Complaints

Nicole's former landlord, Leslie, says Nicole was such a bad tenant, she was forced to take her to court. Find out Leslie's list of grievances. And, did Barbara have ulterior motives for gaining custody of Ethan? 

 

 

"She doesn't appear to be how you describe her."

 


 

Defending Her Friend

Melissa, Nicole's friend of 18 years, says the fighting boils down to Barbara's need to control Nicole " and it started long before Ethan was born. And, Dr. Phil challenges Nicole's desire to be a parent.

 

 

 

"Are you just trying to be supportive?"

 


 

What Does the Future Hold?

Will Barbara give up custody of Ethan? Dr. Phil proposes a plan for moving forward, but one woman hesitates to participate. And, Nicole hasn't seen her son in four months. Will Barbra agree to let the mother and son reunite?

 

 

"This is just ridiculous."

 

 

 

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