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‘90 Day Fiance’ Alums Paul and Karine Staehle’s Custody Battle for Pierre and Ethan Explained

90 Day Fiancé alums Paul Staehle and estranged wife Karine Staehle (née Martins) do not currently have custody of their two children, sons Pierre and Ethan. Keep reading to find out everything we know so far about their attempt to regain custody of the boys.

Who Currently Has Custody of Paul Staehle and Karine Staehle’s Kids?

Ahead of Paul and Karine’s July 11, 2022, court hearing, Pierre and Ethan were placed in the custody of a foster family in the same home. Just three days after the hearing, Paul gave an update during an appearance on the Domenick Nati Show.

“Everything’s still in court right now, hopefully everything will be adjudicated and done this month,” Paul said on July 14, 2022. “We’re hoping for the best right now. The kids look like they’ll be moving to my mother’s house, so they’ll be there for a while. While me and Karine figure out what we want to do in life, they’ll at least be with family.”

In September 2022, Karine gave a brief update about the situation, telling followers on social media that her children were not with her, but that she was allowed to see them. 

“I can’t take it anymore and there are times when I want to talk about what the three of us are going through,” she wrote. “I will never stop fighting for you two.”

As the reality TV personalities faced their CPS court case, Pierre and Ethan were in the custody of a foster family.

“The boys are thriving very much and changed tremendously,” an insider told In Touch exclusively in January 2023. “They are extremely loved, cared about and embraced by a whole family.”

The source added that the foster family “are not [on] social media at all [with] them,” which has been “good” for the boys.

Paul revealed that one of his cousins had filed a motion to take custody of his two boys in a September 2023 interview with Newsweek. However, he noted that he and Karine are close to completing their court-required “parenting skills” classes, and that both had consistently attended court dates related to their children in hopes of welcoming them back into their care soon.

The reality star told the outlet at the time that he would be flying back to Kentucky the following month to complete his remaining court-appointed classes in person. He and Karine plan to coparent Pierre and Ethan after they regain custody.

Why Was Pierre Listed as Missing?

In early June 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent out a missing person’s alert for Pierre, including a photo of Paul and saying that the 3-year-old could be in his company at the time. Pierre was eventually returned on July 3, 2022, the Louisville Metro Police Department confirmed to In Touch, saying that he was “located and safe” and that the missing person’s case was closed as of that date.

“He did the exchange with his parents and dropped Pierre off along with Pierre’s stuff at a local park,” a source separately confirmed to In Touch about Paul dropping off Pierre.

“Paul’s mom [Mary] was hopeful that she would be able to keep Pierre until Monday, but CPS picked up Pierre from her house early on Sunday evening,” the insider continued.

“If two parents have their kids taken, the grandparents or [a] relative should be allowed to have temporary custody,” Paul wrote just days before it was confirmed that Pierre was returned safe. “To ban the grandparents from the children as well as the natural parents is very sad.”

In his interview with Newsweek, Paul said the ordeal was difficult on him and his son Pierre, who he said was “very attached” to him.

“It was very stressful and if you have an agency saying ‘you have to turn your child over to us,’ any good parent is not going to be too thrilled about dropping them off and never seeing them again,” he told the outlet.

Why Don’t Paul Staehle and Karine Staehle Have Custody of Their Kids?

During the missing person’s case, 90 Day Fiancé blogger John Yates talked with Paul who claimed he was at the courthouse petitioning for custody of his children.

John said via an Instagram Live session on July 1, 2022, that Paul previously won full custody of his children back in December 2021, but according to Paul, “both of his kids are up for adoption right now.”

“Karine called into the courts that Paul was trying to murder her,” John claimed, saying that this allegation was how Paul relayed the story to him. “When that happened, the judge got pissed off and took the kids away from both Paul and Karine and even Paul’s mom.”

Paul explained to Newsweek how his relationship problems with Karine led them to no longer have custody of their sons.

“The children were taken because we had a lot of verbal altercations, which in Kentucky they take very seriously,” he told the outlet, adding, “Because we’re public figures, everything was blown out of proportion.”

Who Previously Had Custody of Pierre and Ethan?

Prior to them being in the custody of the foster family, Paul obtained custody in December 2021, according to John’s account of what Paul told him. After Paul and Karine filed for restraining orders against each other in August 2020, Karine briefly had custody of Pierre until the pair dropped their restraining orders in September of that year.

Scroll through the gallery to get updates on 90 Day Fiancé stars Paul and Karine’s battle for custody of their sons Pierre and Ethan.

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