“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, told Us Weekly on Saturday, March 18. “Also, my mother agrees it’s time for Jace to be back with his siblings and living with a mother and father. She also thinks it’s important for Jace to be around a father figure to learn ‘boy things’ and have ‘men talk.'”
She went on to say that Barbara “has seen the way David parents” and acknowledges that they are capable parents.
“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,” Jenelle added. “It’s a done deal!”
The new custody arrangement became official when the mother-daughter duo signed papers on Thursday, March 16. Just weeks prior, the 16 & Pregnant alum announced via Twitter that she had huge news to share.
“I’m about to achieve the unthinkable and cannot wait to share the news with everyone,” she tweeted on February 21 leading some fans to believe the news had to do with Jace.
Jenelle later added fuel to the rumors when she responded to a Twitter troll who called her “ratchet.”
“You should ratchet asf for someone making money off having a kid their mama’s STILL raising [sic],” the comment read, referring to Barbara’s custody of Jace. “Can’t wait to share my new to you this week about my case [sic],” the former MTV personality responded, adding an upside-down face emoji.
Just three days after the Read Between The Lines author hinted at her major “news,” reports began circulating that Barbara had agreed to hand over custody of Jace, leading Jenelle to take to Twitter to clear the air.
“I’m not talking about custody at all,” she tweeted with an eyeroll emoji on February 24. “That’s not what I’m announcing. Don’t listen to the media.”
Jenelle – who welcomed Jace in August 2009 with ex-boyfriend Andrew Lewis – signed over custody of her eldest son to her mother in 2010. Then still a teenager, the North Carolina native was deep into partying and making poor choices.
In addition to Jace, Jenelle also shares son Kaiser with ex Nathan Griffith and daughter Ensley with husband David Eason. She is also the stepmother to David’s kids, Maryssa and Kaden, from previous relationships. The couple’s relationship has been rocky with Jenelle announcing in October 2019 that she had “moved away from David.” Despite rekindling their relationship, the former reality star vented about how her “narcissistic” husband ruined her 31st birthday in December 2022. She later chocked it up to a petty argument, but eagle-eyed fans noticed that they unfollowed each other on Instagram in March 2023 before Jenelle deleted her Twitter profile.
Despite cleaning up her act and welcoming two more children, Barbara and Jenelle were in and out of court for more than a decade battling over custody of Jace.
“I’m not restricted to when my mom says I can have my son anymore,” Jenelle told E! News in 2017 after the custody was amended and a visitation schedule was put in place. “At the moment that’s all I care about. [I] just want to spend time with my son. He will be home one day but today wasn’t the day, sadly.”
The mother of three was “crying in tears of joy” after a judge dismissed the custody case on July 3, 2019.
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