EXCLUSIVE! ‘Teen Mom’ Amber Portwood Does NOT Have Joint Custody of Daughter Yet, Despite Reports

"Yeah, nothing's changed...yet."
“Yeah, nothing’s changed…yet.”

Earlier this month, Radar Online announced that Teen Mom OG star Amber Portwood had been awarded joint custody of her six-year-old daughter, Leah, but according to court records discovered by The Ashley, that may not be the case…at least, not yet anyway. 

After Radar published that story, multiple sites reported the custody change as fact, but it appears that the case is still pending. Amber, who signed over full custody of her daughter to her ex, Gary Shirley, before entering prison in 2012, is definitely making progress in regaining 50/50 custody of Leah, however.

The Ashley can exclusively reveal that a hearing has been set for January 15 to decide the custody case of Leah. Currently, Gary still has full custody of Leah, despite what the media is reporting.

Amber first filed a motion to change the custody situation of Leah on August 26, right in the middle of when MTV was filming her for the upcoming season of ‘Teen Mom OG.’ The original custody hearing was set for October 1 but it was cancelled for some reason.

The hearing was later rescheduled for January 15. Technically, the judge has the authority to deny the custody change if it is viewed to be in the best interest of the child.

It does sound like Amber and Gary have come to some type of agreement regarding the custody of their daughter, however.

“I’m very happy that Gary and I are going to share joint custody of Leah,” she told  OKMagazine.com. “This is something I’ve been waiting for. The time is perfect.”

Naturally, the custody battle will play out on the upcoming season of ‘Teen Mom OG.’ Amber told OK! that it took some convincing to get Gary to agree to the 50/50 custody arrangement.

“We talked for 30 minutes and I said, ‘This is not healthy for any of us, this is not healthy for Leah, let’s just be adults and do this,’” Amber said. “There are certain things I did that made him feel a little better about it.”

In the OK! interview, Amber even admitted that Radar had jumped the gun on reporting the custody change, stating that things aren’t “finalized yet.”

The Ashley will update this story when she gets more information.

(Photo: MTV)

24 Responses

  1. If and when Amber regains 50/50 custody of Leah, I pray that she really does know Matt like she claims. The truth of the matter is he is a grown man who sought her out, has addiction/substance problems that are not resolved since he’s relapsed while being with Amber; he also is not open & honest with Amber as he should be. What kind of person hides the fact that he fathered 7 children with 5 different women? What I’m getting at is who knows what his real intentions are, and I surely wouldn’t have my daughter around him until I was 100% certain of those intentions. Gary would be a fool not to take this before a judge bc we all know Amber is not known for making the best decisions regarding men and her daughter. (Remember when she moved that creepy druggie guy in with her after knowing him a week). Gary may dangle custody of Leah over her head, but it’s clear he really does have Leah’s best interest.

  2. This situation is so messed up and I feel so desperately sorry for Leah. There can be no excuse for Amber’s abusive behaviour but I do also see in earlier seasons that Gary seemed to totally bask in his ability to push Amber’s buttons. I think he’s a total control freak when it comes to Amber and I don’t see him as innocent in any way. Amber’s making really poor decisions when it comes to Matt. It would be nice if she could build up her life without a relationship until she had custody of Leah and THEN pursue romantic relationships. A while ago I read that actually Gary’s mom Carol took on most of the responsibility with Leah but I have no idea how true that is

  3. Amber clearly loves her daughter from her core, because I think she had horrible role models when she was growing up. She shouldn’t have any type of custody, but set visitation dates, so Gary can not manipulate the times/dates in any way. There should be some conditions too. Like she continue to be in intensive therapy. She’s still a very angry person that can turn on a dime, her temper is scary. She has no job, was doing some online college classes at the University of Phoenix which is a worthless degree that no employer takes seriously. She allowed Matt who purposely sought her out for fame and money, to move in with her, no questions asked. Who does that? A woman who a true sense of their self would NEVER do that. She’s the same loser she always was, and I said that from the beginning, she hasn’t changed, really not even enough time to measure real change, she can change, but she hasn’t yet. When Matt is done with her, and he will be, when the MTV checks stop, I believe that will be the end of the relationship, that will be a way to test Amber’s real growth and change, because right now there is none. Leah should remain in the full care of Gary, even though he’s a loser too, he’s a little more stable mentally than Amber, poor Leah hopefully she can overcome the DNA cards she was dealt!

  4. I think Ambers still making poor decisions, however its clear she loves her daughter and definitely deserves some type of partial custody, having said that, I think the hardest thing Amber will have to do is stand up and take full responsibility for bad decisions and actions.She still harbors anger and blame towards Gary for having to go to jail and give up custody.Once she comes to terms w all that, humbles herself to her daughters father for stepping up and caring for their child and trying to keep Amber in her life Gary is no saint but he could have really messed w Amber if he was a prick.He didn’t do that.You can tell he loves his daughter more than he dislikes Amber. Now if Amber can get to that place in her life, realize its ALl about the child not the parent it’s called maturity and unselfishness.Amber love your daughter more than any ill feelings towards Gary.stop being so quick to anger and blame.It starts by having a good look in the mirror and take time to be thankful for all the good you have in your life theres no reason Leah shouldnt grow up w both parents continuing to be strong positive role models that put Leah before any of their issues.

    1. No, he doesn’t. I think Starcasm or TMJ recently did a post on people in the franchise with legit jobs, and pretty much none of them had any.

      Pathetic bunch.

  5. Makes me a little sad to see that she has made absolutely NO progress since being released from jail a few years ago. A lot of folks were saying she changed so much, but I don’t see that at all. If anything, letting Matt move in and get engaged to her really set her back. He’s creepy.

  6. I think that it’s good Amber doesn’t have joint custody, but I do feel bad when Gary kind’ve holds Leah over her head, or tells her she can’t see her. Maybe Amber could have more SUPERVISED time with Leah, but that creeptastic weirdo Matt doesn’t need to be anywhere near Leah. Just the look in his eyes screams IMMA PIECE OF SHIT THAT CANNOT BE TRUSTED! Someone like that shouldn’t be around your kids when he can’t even take care of his own.

    1. And seven kids to boot! Like damn girl, open your eyes! If he has no problem abandoning seven children (with FIVE different women!), he’ll abandon yours, too! My biggest fear is her getting pregnant by him. You are NOT going to be the one to ~change him, Amby! He isn’t even encouraging her to attend AA meetings, as he neglects those on top of just being a general creepy person.

    2. I don’t like how Gary’s always holding Leah’s custody over Amber’s head – even before she went to prison, he continued to threaten Amber with this. I’m not sure what else Gary does, but dealing with things in an immature “look what I have and you don’t” attitude is just immature. Being on 16 and pregnant and teen mom certainly went to his head.

      Amber seems to have a calmness now that she did not have before and I believe she is healthier now than she has ever been. I believe it would be in Leah’s best interest to see her mom more (you can tell the girl adores her) and start to understand that mommy is here to stay and won’t be going back to prison.

  7. I have no idea what her legal situation is with Gary but he doesn’t seem to be an angel in this situation. I don’t know if she should have 50/50 custody with Matt around but she should definitely have some kind of court ordered visitation schedule since it seems like Gary has screwed around with that in the past. Kids do well on a schedule generally.

    1. I don’t blame Gary for being that way at all. We have no idea what he goes through, and what we have seen him go through, I’m not gonna nag on him at all. He had to step up and be the responsible parent when she couldn’t be, and still can’t be.

    1. I’m not exactly a an of Matt either but just because he’s weird doesn’t mean Amber should be punished and not have her daughter. She has cleaned her life up. She just has a loser boyfriend.

      1. Honestly, I think Gary is almost just as creepy as Matt. Amber just has lousy taste in men. That doesn’t mean she isn’t a good mom though.

      2. If regaining custody of my daughter was in danger bc of my boyfriend, his bags would be packed and out the door before he could blink. Amber needs to focus right now on Leah, not Matt.

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