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Earlier this week, when we reported on how Anna Cardwell’s daughters are coping with her death, we mentioned reports of a custody dispute.

Well, it’s true.

Initially, Mama June Shannon took custody of Kaitlyn while Kylee went to live with her biological father.

Now, Kylee’s dad is suing for custody of Kaitlyn, too. He’s citing their close bond — and June’s numerous failings as a mother and grandmother.

Anna Cardwell poses with daughters Kaitlyn Clark and Kylee Cardwell. Eldridge Toney is also there.
In this 2020 photo, Anna Cardwell poses with daughters Kaitlyn Clark and Kylee Cardwell. With them was Anna’s longtime boyfriend and future husband, Eldridge Toney. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

On Monday, The US Sun reported that Anna Cardwell’s ex, Michael Cardwell, is suing June Shannon for custody of 11-year-old Kaitlyn.

He filed this lawsuit just over a week after Anna passed away from her terminal adrenal carcinoma.

Her daughters are 11-year-old Kaitlyn Clark and 8-year-old Kylee Cardwell. Kylee is Michael’s daughter, and he immediately assumed custody over her.

June Shannon on TV
June Shannon speaks to the camera in this scene from her reality show. (Image Credit: WEtv)

Notably, Michael has been an active part of Kylee’s life. And while Kaitlyn’s biological father has not done the same for her, she has spent a lot of time with Michael.

Michael’s court argument is that June has previously been “inconsistent” in Kaitlyn’s life.

While part of this was because of June’s life events (her downward spiral a few years ago nearly claimed her life), another factor was estrangements between June and Anna. And not petty ones, either.

Anna Cardwell and family
Prior to her tragic passing, Anna Cardwell posed here in the hospital alongside her loved ones. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

Though Michael and Anna split in 2017, which more than half of Kaitlyn’s lifetime ago, they did not lose touch.

According to reports, Michael would continue to take both girls during his custodial visits.

He writes that he has “fully and completely undertaken a permanent, unequivocal, committed, and responsible parental role” for Kaitlyn.

Anna Cardwell shows off beautiful turquoise highlights in her blonde hair.
Anna Cardwell shared this car selfie, showing off some beautiful turquoise highlights to her blonde hair. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

Michael’s court filing also notes that he “engaged in consistent caretaking of the child and established a bonded and dependent relationship with the child.”

“Both [Michael and Anna] understood, acknowledged, accepted and behaved as though [Michael] is a parent of the child and accepted full and permanent responsibilities as a parent of the child,” the filing reports.

Michael’s lawsuit adds that this was “without expectation of financial compensation.” Simply put, he was a dad to her since she was a baby.

In 2020, Eldridge Toney posed with Anna Cardwell's daughters Kaitlyn Shannon and Kylee Cardwell. They have silly filters over their faces.
In 2020, Eldridge Toney posed with Anna Cardwell’s daughters Kaitlyn Clark and Kylee Cardwell. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

And he may have evidence that he’s not the only one to say so.

Back in 2015, when Kaitlyn was only about preschool aged, Anna vlogged about their bond.

“Kaitlyn’s father is Michael, and that’s where it’s gonna be at, and that’s where it’s gonna stay at,” the girl’s late mom stated at the time.

Anna Cardwell snaps this selfie in a kelly green sweater.
Wearing glasses, Anna Cardwell snaps this selfie in a kelly green sweater. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

At the time, Anna and Michael were married. But still, those were her words on the matter.

Michael also weighed in on June’s fitness (or lack thereof) to be Kaitlyn’s caretaker.

Several years ago, June lost custody of Alana. And Anna spent about half of her childhood in the care of her maternal grandmother — not June.

June Shannon Breaks Down
June Shannon breaks down here over the results of her positive drug test. (Image Credit: WEtv)

Just a reminder, nearly a decade ago, June became the center of a scandal that ruined Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. TLC, a network that has aired many monsters over the years, parted ways with her and canceled the series even though many episodes were in the can.

Mark McDaniel molested Anna when she was a child. After his release from prison, June reconnected with him. The two were in bed together.

This obviously led to Anna’s estrangement from her mother for many years. They only reconciled early this year, after Anna’s diagnosis.

Mama June and Family
Mama June Shannon posted this photo online after her oldest daughter died of cancer. (Photo Credit: TLC)

As such, Michael does not believe that June is a fit caretaker. He suggests that he is, however.

On the one hand, we all hate to think of Anna’s daughters living in separate homes after losing their mom.

At the same time … we, the public, have no idea which household is best for Kaitlyn. Family court will have to decide, it seems.

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