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(Original Air Date: 11/04/08) How do you determine if someone is fit to be a parent? Should someone who is dependent on others for monetary help have the right to raise a child? Should someone the courts rule unfit as a parent 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 six years over the custody of Nicole’s son, Ethan. Barbara says she needed to take full custody of her grandson because Nicole was and is still not fit to be his mother. Barbara says she provided all the essential items when Ethan was first born, and when he needed surgery, she offered to cover the child under her health insurance. Nicole says she signed what she believed to be a temporary custody agreement to provide for her child's well-being, but says she was tricked into signing her rights away as a mother. Did Barbara have ulterior motives? Hear what Nicole's lifelong friend thinks. Then, Barbara claims her daughter broke the law to get her son back. Barbara currently has custody of the boy and claims that Nicole is a pathological liar, an inattentive parent and was living in deplorable conditions. Find out what the court documents show and what Nicole's former landlord has to say. When Dr. Phil proposes a plan for moving forward, which woman hesitates to participate? And, Nicole hasn't seen her son in more than four months. Will Barbara agree to let mother and son spend time together? Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.
Comments
Replied By: tjcellery on Oct 6, 2013, 8:21PM
I would like to know if there was any follow up on this show and if the daughter ever got her child back ?
 
Replied By: jtracy61 on Oct 3, 2013, 9:45PM
I would really like to know what follow-up is on this story.. I hope Nicole got her child back and BLearned learned how to play the role of grandmother…
 
Replied By: forbearer on Oct 3, 2013, 3:43PM - In reply to angelfacebaby9
Do not sign anything!!!  Do not trust the grandmother!!!  Get your daughter out of there a.s.a.p!!! 

She will say that you've abandoned your daughter and that your life circumstances make you unfit to provide for her. 

Give the grandmother as little information as possible.  Try not to even talk to her if you can help it.  If she is manipulative, she will take even the smallest slightly damaging fact and exaggerate it into a lie that may get her custody of the child. 

Once someone gets custody, even temporary custody, it is very hard to come back from that.  Right now the burden is on her to prove that you shouldn't have custody, but if you give that up, the burden will be on you - a very hard place to be.

I know that it's expensive, but if you can, try to find a lawyer who will listen to your situation and give you some advice.  There is a great deal of injustice done in the justice system but lawyers know what judges like to hear.  Email me if you like at fearthelord222@gmail.com
 
Replied By: forbearer on Oct 3, 2013, 3:35PM - In reply to hillspride
Over and over again I see the injustice of the supposed justice system.  Whoever is the most manipulative wins.  Arrrrgh!!!
 
Replied By: forbearer on Oct 3, 2013, 3:31PM
Dearest Nicole,  I’m so sorry for what you’re going through with your mother.  I have gone through a similar situation dealing with an abusive, manipulative, controlling person in my life recently so I can really empathize with your situation.

I believe that I have enough experience and discernment to see that your mother lacks emotion and I believe that she lied through her teeth when she said that she hoped that Ethan could be with you again. 

Unfortunately such individuals seem to be able to manipulate every situation to make trusting, innocent people like us look neglectful and irresponsible.  I have learned to protect myself for the benefit of my children.  I think you have the right idea by giving your mother as little information as possible (such as your correct address.) 

So much nonsense!  Such as your mother helping you financially and then turning it on you, hiring a private investigator…how can people not see how wrong this is.  I’m sorry, but I think that your mother is a horrible person.

Keep believing Nicole.  You can do it.  Cry, pray, and then pick yourself up again.  You can do it.  You are the victim of an abusive parent!  I went to a support group for abused women and it helped me to better recognize what was happening in my life.  You need support!!!  I can see how strong you are.  I can also see the pain and know exactly how you are feeling since I am just coming out of my nightmare. 

People who have not been emotionally abused and controlled will not understand.  Despite Dr. Phil’s experience, I would guess that he’s never personally experienced emotional abuse and that why he questioned how committed you were to getting your child back and why he didn’t understand why you weren’t more involved with the courts.  Going to court is intimidating and expensive.  Your mother has more resources than you do.  Furthermore, although lawyers can help you navigate the process, they can also take advantage of your weakened state.  People don’t understand how hard it is to get things done when you’re recovering (or maybe even just starting to realize) that you’ve been in an abusive relationship.  They also don’t understand how all of these dynamics works together against you and how it’s all very overwhelming to be simultaneously recovering, fighting against the lies, fighting against the perceptions of your own community, learning the process, possibly lacking support (financial and emotional), and trying to pay for it.  That’s why it’s so good for you to go to a support group for abused women so you can at least start to understand (and thus protect you and your son) against your mother’s behavior.

Again, I am so sorry.  I hope you have a personal relationship with Jesus like I do.  If so, fight as hard as you can, pray, and then just make your unfailing faith (that God is in control and that it will all work out for your and Ethan’s good in the end) your weapon.  That’s all I can recommend because that’s what worked for me J

Plenty of good verses to strengthen you but here’s one of my favorites:

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”  Ephesians 6: 12 – 17

Just one more that helps with the faith thing:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8: 28

I could go on but this is plenty long already.  But you can email me if you need someone who understands…fearthelord222@gmail.com
 
Replied By: angelfacebaby9 on Oct 2, 2013, 5:34PM
i'm going threw something like this myself i don't know what i shoud do me and my daughters father spelt up and ever since the day my daughter was born his mother has been ttrying to poof me unfit but i do the best i can for her right now she is staying with his mother because i'm trying to get a job and a place for her to live because i am currently staying with my boyfriend and his parents because i would be homless if nothing else my daughter can not stay out here with me because his parents have to wake up really early for work and sometimes at night my daughter gets really cranky and doesn't want to sleep so for her saftey i'm letting the grandmother take care of her for me but now she wants me to sihn some temp custody papers and i just don't feel right about it what should i do???
 
Replied By: gussiemygirl on Jun 12, 2013, 12:12PM
This Grandmother is a terrible woman. She should be ashamed of herself. Go to church and pray for wisdom and guidance and then pray more to have the faith that these will come to you. Why do you want to ruin the lives of both your daughter and her child ? Very, very sad....
 
Replied By: hillspride on Nov 11, 2012, 6:04AM - In reply to nancykward
My daughter-in-law and her first born daughter are victims of exactly this and according to the police we have spoken to, this is a very common occurance.  I applaude Dr Phil for bringing attention to this National Problem. 

I watched this as a re-run but feel it neccesary to make comments.  My daughter-in-law lost her daughter to her parents in NC in 2005.  She was a 23 year old single mom living with her parents working part-time. The young mother was not on drugs etc.... there were no alligations of abuse.  the biggest problem was a tug of war between mother and grandmother over providing care to this little girl.  After nearly 2 years the mother finally requested  police involvement but the police felt there was no real harm in allowing the child to remain there overnight making the mother feel as though no one believed her.  Soon after the mother was coerced to sign a document and 2 weeks later her parents demanded she leave the home telling her the courts odered the mother to leave and she no longer had custody of her daughter.  For over 2 years the Grandmother lied to the mother, finally the truth came out and at that time the Grandmother told the court she wanted custody because the mother abandoned her daughter for 2 years.  Unbelievable!!!!!  The courts allowed the Grandmother to keep her because she had been in the home all her life and she was then 5 years old. 

There was no abuse accept by the grandparent or rather grandparents.   The grandparents already had the father taken out of the picture, then the mother and now grandma has had grandpa taken out of the picture as well.  Oh yeah and did I forget to mention this grandmother attempted suicide with a gun in front of the child and the police had to tazer her, yet she still has custody.  Talk about a blind eye!  Does DCF know?  YES

The mother has gone on with her life and talks with her daughter as often as grandma allows.  The mother now has 3 additional children  a 6 year old, 3 year old and a 7 month old.  This doesn't effect only the original party if effects the entire family. Yes she could go back to court however the risk of suicide remains and she does not want her young daughter of 9 to be victimized further.  She loves her daughter dearly and never forgets her for a day and her daughter knows her mother loves her. 

We pray anyone family or friend  who know of this type of a situation please help the grandparent understand their role as a grandparent.         BE A FRIEND TO THE CHILD PLEASE!
 
Replied By: bppierce on Sep 4, 2011, 12:51AM
Since your shows are sometimes seen in reruns, many of us would love to get updates 2 years later, such as the drama of Nicole and, well, the witch. Was she ever successful in getting her son back? I'm sure that even if she did the wicked witch would have made sure she'd be forever broke through the legal process.
 
Replied By: momof376 on Aug 30, 2011, 4:28PM - In reply to mwopinion
Do you know if she ever did get her son back?
 
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