DP Family: Alex Divorce and Custoy: Erin

Concerned Mom

In a video diary, Erin shares her concerns. "Chris and Alexandra may have their problems, but I don't think it's fair to Leilah that she not see her father. I think that Leilah is entitled to have a relationship with her father. Chris loves her very much. He wants to see his daughter, and Alexandra does not want that to happen," she says. "I did tell Chris, 'Please, don't do anything stupid.' I am very concerned that Chris may get over-emotional in going after Alexandra's current boyfriend. I'm just terrified they're going to fight in front of that baby, an explosion of emotion on both of their parts."

 

In the studio, Alex says that she wants both of her children to live with her, she wants them all to be happy, and she's willing to do whatever it takes. 

 

"What's your biggest concern as you sit here today, because you seem really preoccupied," Dr. Phil says to her.

 

"I just want my children, and that's the most important thing to me. I just want to be happy, and I want my children to be happy," Alex says.

 

Nathan's father recently filed for custody. "He is asking for primary time-sharing, which is I would see Nathan every other weekend, Wednesdays, and I would be responsible for child support, and Nathan's father would be responsible for his everyday, day-to-day care, school, that kind of thing," Alex explains.

 

[AD]"Do you see Nathan more than that now? Is he with you every other weekend and during the week now?" Dr. Phil asks.

 

"No, I don't get to see him at all," she says. "I see him every time I can. I mean, I try."

 

"So if you did that custody deal the way that he wants it, you would have more access than you do now," Dr. Phil points out.

 

"They are against him seeing and even spending time with me, because of the whole thing that I signed when I was 15," Alex says.

"What's your take on this?" Dr. Phil asks Erin. "You're saying as things stand now, you would support Nathan's father having that access and you would not support your daughter."

 

"Yes, that is correct. I will support Nathan's father and his grandparents to get custody or time-sharing of Nathan, and we actually worked with them to start that process. Marty and I did. We felt very strongly about the situation that Alexandra is in, and that it's not in the best interest of Nathan," Erin explains. 

 

"You see this as a complete act of betrayal on your mother's part?" Dr. Phil asks Alex.

 

"Of course. Wouldn't anybody?" she asks. 

"Is she wrong?" Dr. Phil asks Alex. "Are you in the best interest of Nathan at this point?"

 

"I'm sure I can't give him everything that my mom can, but nobody will ever love him more than I will," she says. 

 

"It is a pretty big deal for a mother to take a position antagonistic to her daughter regarding rights, access and control of her biological children," Dr. Phil says. "That is a very unusual situation."

 

[AD]"Alexandra does have full access to her son, and she can come see him anytime," Erin says. "He can go spend time with her, but he cannot spend the night there."

 

"Your point is she doesn't do that even when she can," Dr. Phil says.

 

"No, she does not even when she can," Erin agrees. 

 

"Not having a job and not being able to put gas in my truck to drive 45 minutes to my mother's house to see him and 45 minutes back. I mean, that's a lot of gas," Alex says.

 

Erin says she's willing to pick Alex up and bring her back to her house, and she's done that in the past. 

 Dr. Phil tells Alex what she must do to minimize the trauma for her children.

 

Alex says that she wants her son to live with her, not her parents.

 

Dr. Phil points out that because of the agreement Alex signed with Nathan's father, the boy can't live with her, so he can only live with Erin and Marty, his father or his father's parents. "Is this the best place for him now?" he asks, referring to Erin and Marty's house.

 

"I guess," she replies.

 

"Would you rather him be with his father's family?" Dr. Phil asks.

 

[AD]"Nathan needs to have a relationship with his father, and his father does need to take care of him," she says. "Even when I had Nathan, I never spoke to his father. I always spoke to the grandparents, because Nathan's father's mother will tell you that she takes care of Nathan. She does it all. I mean, yeah, he goes to the game, but when I was there at the game, all he was doing was reading a book. He wasn't even watching Nathan. But I guess my parents can provide the best home for him until this is resolved."

 

"And when it's resolved you hope it's resolved with Nathan coming with you," Dr. Phil says.

 

"I hope so, yeah," she replies.