Anna Cardwell‘s ex-husband Michael is ready to fight Mama June Shannon for custody of Anna’s older daughter Kaitlyn!
The Sun broke the news on Monday that Michael Cardwell has filed a lawsuit against June, just over a week after Anna passed away from cancer. As fans know, Anna left behind two young daughters– 11-year-old Kaitlyn and eight-year-old Kylee. Following Anna’s death, Kylee was sent to live with her father Michael (who has been an active dad in her life), while June was preparing to take custody of Kaitlyn, whose biological father has not been in her life.
According to court paperwork served to June on Sunday, though, Michael is against June taking custody of Kaitlyn, stating that she has been “inconsistent” in Kaitlyn’s life, due to Anna’s long periods of estrangements from her mom.
He also claims that he has been Kaitlyn’s consistent father figure since she was an infant. (As The Ashley previously reported, Anna and Michael split in 2017, but Michael would take both girls— not just Kylee– during his custodial visits.)
In the court docs, Michael stated that he has “fully and completely undertaken a permanent, unequivocal, committed, and responsible parental role” in Kaitlyn’s life, and has “engaged in consistent caretaking of the child and established a bonded and dependent relationship with the child.”
Michael stated that Anna encouraged his continued relationship and visitation with Kaitlyn.
“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 without expectation of financial compensation,” the document state.
Way back in 2015— while Anna and Michael were still married– Anna proclaimed in a vlog that she will always consider Michael to be Kaitlyn’s father, even if he’s not her dad biologically.
“Kaitlyn’s father is Michael, and that’s where it’s gonna be at, and that’s where it’s gonna stay at,” she said.
The court documents also state that Michael does not feel that June is an appropriate caretaker for Kaitlyn, given that June and Anna did not get along for many years.
“Anna has been raised by her maternal grandmother in Griffin, Georgia, since she was approximately eight years old and only returned to the home of June Shannon when she was 17,” he states.
(As The Ashley previously reported, Anna became estranged from June as an adult after June became romantically linked again to Mark McDaniel, the man who molested Anna as a child. June reconnected with him after he got out of prison for his crimes against Anna. That scandal also caused TLC to cancel Here Comes Honey Boo Boo in 2014.)
“Anna has had a very sordid relationship with her mother throughout her life and went various periods of time without speaking to her,” Michael wrote. “Likewise, June’s presence in [Kaitlyn’s] life has been inconsistent.”
(In fact, in 2015, Anna attempted to sue June to try to recover over $200,000 Anna said June owed her for appearing on ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.’ In 2017, Anna told E! News that June still owed her and Kaitlyn nearly $500,000 in earnings from their time on the show. However, Anna revealed in 2021 that she had given up trying to get that money for herself and her daughter.)
Michael went on to claim that he has continued to pay for Kaitlyn’s schooling, even after he and Anna divorced.
“[Michael] has been a stable and consistent part of the minor child’s life since she was eight months old and has continued to do so even after years from his divorce from Anna,” he wrote. “[Michael] is the only living person that has shown a constant and continuous interest in the child’s minor child’s well-being, and being in the custody of [Michael] will be in the child’s best interest.”
Michael lives near June and her family in Georgia. He’s currently engaged.
June has yet to publicly comment on Michael fighting her for custody. However, The Ashley can reveal that June has hired a lawyer as of Monday and is apparently planning to fight Michael in court.
While Anna’s final days were reportedly filmed for Mama June: Road to Redemption, it’s unknown if June’s custody fight for Kaitlyn will be covered on the show.
On Monday, TMZ reported that, despite being separated, Anna’s daughters have been leaning on each other for support.
“We’re told the sisters have been calling each other and grieving together,” the site’s source said.
(Photos: Instagram; WEtv; Facebook)