“Teen Mom” fans were abuzz after Jenelle Evans revealed she had regained custody of her eldest child, 13-year-old Jace. For the first time, the “Teen Mom” star will have all of her children living with her under one roof.
“ITS OFFICIAL! Thanks, everyone for the support! Words cant descibe how happy i truly am. Our family is complete now!” Evans, 31, wrote via Instagram on March 19.
Evans is also the mother to 8-year-old Kaiser — whom she welcomed with her ex-fiance Nathan Griffith — and 6-year-old Ensley, the daughter she shares with her husband, David Eason. Evans welcomed Jace with her high school boyfriend, Andrew Lewis. He stepped away from his parental rights when Jace was born.
Evans thanked her mother, Barbara Evans, for relinquishing her parental rights to Jace. She said her mom, 69, is looking forward to a child-free life after taking care of Jace for most of his life.
“She’s completely fine. She’s ready to have her freedom,” Evans said in a video, shared on social media. “Her and her friend have a cruise already planned.”
Barbara might be “completely fine” with the change in custody, but some fans on Reddit were worried. Multiple threads were created, where social media users discussed the situation.
“I feel bad for Jace,” reads one popular comment. “If he is having behavioral issues, I worry about him being around David. This is not good.”
“It is only a matter of time before Jace’s trauma manifests as behavior issues at Jenelle’s house and then she’ll be blaming Barb for it instead of taking responsibility for her role in the trauma,” says another top response.
“She gave him a far better 13 years than Jenelle would’ve and that has to count for something,” another fan wrote, referring to Barbara. “I have no idea how Jace will do with this or what’s best for him. I just hope he is safe and I am hoping for the absolute best for this little boy.”
In 2021, Evans filed for emergency custody of Jace after she said he was “out of control” and lighting fires in Barbara’s home, according to court documents obtained by The Sun.
Evans recalled an alleged incident from December 2020, where Jace and Barabara “argued throughout the day,” according to court records reviewed by The Sun.
“The minor child physically assaulted [Barbara] twice causing injury to [Barbara.] The Minor child also burned the carpet because he was angry with [Barbara],” Evans wrote in the filing, per the publication. “The minor child has a history of starting fires in the home of [Barbara].”
In January 2021, Evans claimed she had regained custody of Jace. “I have custody of Jace. He lives with me now full-time. My  kids are happy, they’re healthy. That’s all that f***ing matters,” she said on TikTok at the time, per TMZ.
But Barbara told TMZ that Evans “misspoke” and she still had custody of the teenager.
Since then, Evans said she was actively working on regaining her parental rights, E! News reported in May 2022.
Evans appeared in the second season of “16 and Pregnant” in 2010. She was then promoted to “Teen Mom 2.” She starred in the series from 2011 until 2019, when she was fired after Eason shot and killed their French bulldog, Nugget. Since then, Evans has gone on to cultivate a following on TikTok of more than 2.9 million and is a creator on OnlyFans.
How Did Evans Lose Custody of Jace?
Evans signed over custody of Jace to her mother, Barbara Evans, in 2010 when Jace was a baby. At the time, she had just been arrested with her then-boyfriend, Kieffer Delp.
According to E! News, police said she broke into a neighbor’s house and charged her with possession of marijuana. She pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and was sentenced to one-year of probation, according to E! News.
From 2010 to 2016, she was arrested 15 times, E! News reported and overcame an addiction to heroin. She went to rehab in 2013, the publication noted.
“My first trip was amazing. I won’t glamorize the drug by going into the long details of why people love it so damned much. Before I knew it, I was shooting up four or five times a day. I was hooked,” she wrote in her memoir — “Read Between the Lines” — according to People.
“The first thing I lost to the drug was my family,” she continued, according to the outlet. “I disowned my mother and siblings and friends, but the truth is no one wants to talk to you when they suspect you’re a junkie.”
Evans & Barbara Are Working on Their Relationship as Mother & Daughter
Now that Jace is a teenager, Barbara agreed to let her daughter have her son again, according to an interview Evans gave Us Weekly.
“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,” she told the publication. “Also, my mother agrees it’s time for Jace to be back with his siblings and living with a mother and father.”
Barbara wants Jace to be able to learn from his stepfather, too.
“She also thinks it’s important for Jace to be around a father figure to learn ‘boy things’ and have ‘men talk,’” the former “Teen Mom” star told Us Weekly. “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,” she continued. “We have officially signed the papers on Thursday, March 16th at the courthouse, it’s a done deal!”