“We endured the nightmare,” Glennon, 38, told E! News on Wednesday, July 27, after the official court ruling had been made. “Now we get to live the dream.”
According to documents obtained by The Sun, an Indiana judge awarded Glennon primary and physical custody of James on Wednesday. The judge also granted the cinematographer’s request to relocate their little one to California.
During the ruling, however, the judge advised Glennon to “seek out and consider the mother’s opinion before making any major decisions relating to the child’s medical treatment, education and religion.”
Just a few hours after the court’s decision, the MTV star expressed her grief regarding the ruling in an exclusive statement to Us Weekly.
“I’ve worked so hard to better myself and improve my relationships with my children,” the 16 and Pregnant alum, 32, told Us. “While I’ve always been candid about my past substance abuse and struggles with mental illness, a person should have the chance to redeem themselves and not be tethered to their problems from the past.”
The Never Too Late author continued, ”I’ve spent years rebuilding bridges and did everything that was required of me, including submitting 21 negative drug tests and undergoing multiple psychological evaluations, if your road has not been perfect, but you’ve worked hard to become a better, more stable and caring person today, keep moving forward as I will. I’ll never stop fighting for my children who I love more than anything.”
The former couple, who dated from 2017 to 2019, have been locked in an ongoing custody battle for three years. Their legal woes began after the Indiana native was arrested for domestic battery after allegedly wielding a machete at the California native while threatening suicide in July 2019. Three months later, Portwood — who is also mom to Leah,13, with ex Gary Shirley — pled guilty to two felony charges of domestic battery and intimidation, per the Indy Star.
Portwood’s strained relationship with her children has played out over the Teen Mom OG for years. During a season 9 episode in September 2021, the reality star broke down in tears over the growing distance between herself and daughter Leah.
“It truly breaks my heart that Leah and I are drifting apart. I really think if I could go to therapy with Leah, it would bring us closer together,” she revealed. “I think she’ll be happier in life to understand a bit more of what the past was and how I am today. It’s OK to have a mom that has been through these things. You shouldn’t be ashamed about it. Therapy is something that needs to happen.”
While Portwood and Shirley split custody of their daughter, Leah lives full-time with her dad, stepmom Kristina Shirley and half-sister, Emilee. The teen, for her part, previously opened up on the MTV series about why she didn’t feel comfortable speaking with her mom.
“All she did was just give birth to me and then just kind of left,” Leah explained at the time.