90 Day Fiancé stars Paul Staehle and Karine Staehle’s sons Pierre and Ethan “are doing well” amid their ongoing custody battle against Child Protective Services, a source close to the situation tells In Touch

“I am sure Pierre is very confused about why this is,” the source tells In Touch in a statement about the former couple’s first son. “Just sad for sure, but the boys are very loved and cared for.”

The insider explains there is “no unlawful contact” between Paul, Karine, and their sons, adding that the mom of two sees her kids once a week “at [a] special place.” 

“It is bittersweet,” the source says of the situation. 

Paul, 39, and Karine, 26, have been fighting for custody of their two sons since June 2022. After their eldest son was reported missing that month, both children were placed under the care of CPS.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent out a missing person’s alert for Pierre, claiming that he was with Paul at the time of his disappearance. At the time, Ethan, 23 months, had already been placed in foster care.

Nearly one month later, Paul returned Pierre to his mom on July 3, 2022, who then handed him over to CPS. Pierre was then reunited with his brother in the same foster family and has been in the state’s care since. 

The 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days couple’s problems started in December 2021, after a video of Paul and Karine in the middle of an alleged domestic violence altercation at their home in Kentucky circulated online. In the clip viewed by In Touch, the Brazil native grabbed her then-husband by the hair before grabbing him around his neck and slamming him against the couch. Pierre was present in the room during the time of the altercation. 

Courtesy of Karine Staehle/Instagram

Hours after the altercation, Karine seemingly responded to the domestic violence claims by sharing a cryptic message in a since-deleted Instagram post.  

“Do you know when you’ve tried everything? And when I say everything, it’s everything you can imagine and then some,” she wrote, according to a screenshot obtained by blogger John Yates. “The night before I spent awake and reflecting on everything I’ve been through and many things, it was for the love of my children and it will always be for them and that will never change. I woke up determined, asked for a divorce, that’s right, divorce. [Now] what will happen to me, I don’t know but God knows. At the moment, I just want the lap of my family and especially my mother, to go back to my house and start my life over…”

Following the physical fight, the pair split and filed restraining orders against each other. The Kentucky native was granted custody of their sons until both parties lost custody in June 2022. 

“Karine called into the courts that Paul was trying to murder her,” ​Paul told John Yates in September 2022. “When that happened, the judge got pissed off and took the kids away from both Paul and Karine and even Paul’s mom.”

While Paul has not seen his sons since he returned to Brazil in September 2022, Karine remains in the United States and sees her kids weekly. Both the TLC personalities have been vocal about the way they are treated by CPS, stating Karine is treated unfairly because she is an immigrant. 

90 Day Fiance Stars Paul Staehle and Karine Staehle Custody Battle for Pierre and Ethan Explained
Courtesy of Paul Staehle/Instagram

In November 2022, the dad of two shared an update, saying he and Karine were “working as [a] team” to regain custody of their sons. He also revealed he lost custody because he let Karine see their sons even though that violated their original custody order.

“There was an order on there that Karine could only see the kids supervised, I let Karine see the kids unsupervised, therefore I violated the court orders,” Paul told John during a November 2022 interview. He also noted that he is not allowed to see either of his sons until they turn 18.

The reality stars had another court hearing on ​January 11. At the time, an insider exclusively told In Touch that Paul and Karine “were both guilty” of the drama that led to their custody battle with CPS.

A month later, In Touch exclusively confirmed that Karine dropped her restraining order against her husband. A separate source told In Touch on March 31, that Karine had tried to drop the restraining order “for months” but was unable to because “Kentucky is very strict about this” when it comes to domestic violence. 

“They actually both had [a restraining order] on each other and tried to drop them at same time, but only Paul was allowed and not Karine at that time,” the source continued. “But she finally got her motion heard to drop.”

Reporting by Nate Grant

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