State of NC: Father Loses Custody of Daughter to a Homeless Mother

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Anybody that knows my brother, Tyler, knows what the most important thing in his life is and that is his daughter, Kyndall. Since Kyndall was born, Tyler has always provided everything she could need, or want for that matter. Kyndall’s mother, Anna, left when Kyndall was just a baby so Tyler stepped up. For the past five years, he has had Kyndall in his care for 5-6 days a week. There have been times where Kyndall didn’t see or hear from Anna for weeks at a time. Both parents were in agreement, that Tyler’s home was more suitable and they agreed to weekend visitation for Anna. These weekend visits were quite irregular due to the fact that Anna hasn’t had a vehicle or valid driver’s license for years.

Flash back to 2014. The Department of Social Services was alleging that Anna had left Kyndall in a vehicle while she went inside to sleep with a man. The report also stated that Anna had smoked marijuana in front of the child and also that the child had gotten into the marijuana stash. When DSS did a drug-screening on Anna, amphetamines and marijuana were found in her system. She had to do assessments to determine whether or not she should be treated and also had to show progress in turning her life around. So, because she was accepted into barber school and she and Tyler were in agreement that Kyndall would continue living with Tyler full-time, DSS closed the case.

Flash forward to 2017. It’s been three years since the DSS investigation yet Anna is still not a barber, but a barber’s apprentice. She is working at her father’s barber shop making less than minimum wage. She is living in a two-bedroom apartment with her fiancé who once assaulted her (because she woke him up from a nap) to the point where she had to go to the hospital and a police report was filed. That night, the police tracked him down to a cheap motel with a “crack pipe” on the night stand and another female in his bed. He was then arrested and charged. It didn’t take long for him and Anna to get back together.

Tyler still has Kyndall 5-6 days a week. He is living in a four-bedroom home with a big fenced in yard. Kyndall has her trampoline, four-wheeler, bicycle, basketball hoop, and the list goes on. Everything is still cordial between Tyler and Anna, with the weekend visitation still on the table.

It is now September, 2017, and Anna goes ahead and files for full-custody of Kyndall. Now, because she lives in Salisbury, it automatically went to the Salisbury courts. The judge immediately issued temporary custody, one week on, one week off. Mind you, the judge knew Anna’s family, personally, so Tyler had to file for a new judge. But there would be no overruling of the new visitation. Anna is still engaged to the man that assaulted her. He was actually court-ordered to not be in contact with Kyndall, which was later testified that he had been in contact with her numerous times.

At this time, Anna still has no vehicle or driver’s license. So for eight months, she had to catch rides to and from Tyler’s house to pick up Kyndall, if she decided to even ride along that week. When Tyler picks Kyndall up, she is usually dirty and smelling of cigarettes. One time, she even came home with burn marks on her arm. Anna and her fiancé later testified that they smoke cigarettes inside their home, even when Kyndall is present.

Well, Thursday, May 10th, 2018 Anna gets called to the stand in court. She is then asked to read a thread of text messages between her and Tyler. Come to find out, Anna moved all of her belongings into storage and couldn’t provide us with a home address. So, that had to have been the end of it, right? Wrong. The judge goes back to his chambers for about 45 minutes and comes back with his decision, awarding primary custody to the mother. A homeless person, with no vehicle or license to operate a vehicle, with a lengthy record, in an abusive relationship, making less than minimum wage. Meanwhile, the father lives in a nice home, with a good job, has transportation, has had the child in his custody since day one, no questions asked. Tyler’s time with Kyndall was cut from 5-6 days a week to just weekends, knowing that he works on Saturdays.

This is by far the worst ruling on the welfare of a child that you can even imagine. My niece, doesn’t have a home right now. Tyler does not know where his daughter is sleeping tonight and he has no say in it. Being that Anna, Anna’s family, Anna’s lawyer, and the judge, all reside in Salisbury, it wouldn’t be unfair to consider corruption. It was discovered during the fifth and final hearing that the judge actually knew of Anna’s soon-to-be step-brother-in-law. The judge’s children also go to the same school as Anna’s son. I failed to mention that Anna gave her first son up to her mother, who has no intentions of returning him to Anna.

Say this was an adoption or foster care hearing... Would the judge really award a child to Anna over Tyler? We have so many questions that can’t be answered but are praying that the right person is reading this.

An emergency appeal, on the grounds of Anna being homeless, is not an option due to the fact that the judge was already aware before making his ruling. We can and will appeal this, however, we’ve been advised that the process could take up to two years. My niece’s physical and mental well-being can’t wait that long.

We are starting this campaign with the hopes that we can raise some awareness to this case. How often are North Carolina fathers losing custody of their children to unfit mothers? We are looking for support from the community and any funds raised by this campaign will go directly to Tyler’s legal fees. He has incurred tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees thus far. Continued litigation will incur thousands and thousands more.

All of the details stated above were testified to in court and are available to the public.