Anna Cardwell’s Ex-Husband Michael Sues Mama June Shannon For Custody of Anna’s Oldest Daughter: Says He’s Been “Stable” Part of Kaitlyn’s Life While June’s Been “Inconsistent”

“June Bug is NEVER the answer!”

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.) 

Anna and Michael with Kaitlyn in 2014…

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.

Anna and her daughters in 2022…

“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.

A post from 2022 on the Facebook page of Michael’s fiancé shows both girls staying at Michael’s.

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.)

June and Anna were estranged for many years, but made up after Anna was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January. 

“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.”

Anna with her daughters in May…

(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.

“I reckon I best be gettin’ one of them law-yers!”

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.

RELATED STORY: Anna Cardwell’s Husband Eldridge Toney Breaks Silence on Her Death & the Promise He Made Regarding Anna’s Two Daughters

(Photos: Instagram; WEtv; Facebook) 


  1. If June were to win ( which I hope she doesn’t) would she get mad and keep the girls from seeing each other just out of spite. Plus the biological father of the older girl. He knew he was the father but Anna stated that she left him alone and didn’t want to do anything about it and since She died I’m wondering if he might pop up and say he wants her. Plus I’d they all start fighting a judge could rule nobody gets to keep her. It all depends on the state rules and laws.

  2. So Anna never stated who her father was. Which in some states can open up a lot of doors since he would legally have the right to her. She died keeping it to herself and previously claimed Michael as her father. This is just a publicity stunt for June and that poor little girl is just going to be a prop for photo opps and more screen time. For him to legally adopt her as an infant the father would need to sign his rights over. So he was never able to legally adopt her since she stayed silent. I hope he wins and that June realizes how bad she messed up her children because that’s what happened to June her mom was the same way. June smarten up make the right choice and break the cycle. Expensive gifts won’t replace the real love Michael can give her. It seems like that pattern repeats. So June don’t drag her through more than what she has been through just sign the papers and I’m sure visitation won’t be a problem

  3. Michael is more of a father than June was ever a mother. Who in their right mind would even let a child stay over night with June?

    1. Because that would lead to the question of who her father was and he would have the chance to take her. A stranger someone she doesn’t know. Anna went to her grave with that and said Michael will always be her father. In a persons eyes yes but legally next of Kin.

    2. There probably wasn’t time, he could have adopted her but that could take months or even years depending on the biological father. Maybe she should have signed over custody to him before passing but idk how that works with the bio dad either.

  4. Good job – get your kid. June lost custody of Alana because of her issues. She’s not a good a parent & shouldn’t be taking care of children any longer.

  5. This crap should have been sorted out the minute Anna received that diagnosis. Honestly June and the clan should do what’s in the child’s best interest and let her go with him and her sister. June was barely a proper parent to her girls before breaking up with Sugar Bear. After she went on about her men and her drugs and gave two shits about her girls. Stooping so low as to give up custody of her daughter with the hopes that it ended her financial obligations to her was despicable. This trash bucket is fine to spend her money on every Tom, Dick and Harry that comes along, but providing for her minor child was an imposition. She can barely take care of herself and depends on whichever man comes along. That child should not be subjected to this circus. She deserves a good stable life with people that love and support her.

  6. I don’t understand why nothing is on paper. Why did nobody think of that?
    They should have known June would be a risk as for custody but also the inheritance.

    I cant imagine a mother would not make plans and share those plans with those around her.

  7. Yes Michael! 👏🏻 He treated the oldest as his own from day 1. Even after their split he still had access. These girls should be together. While I like June & Justin, she lost custody of Alana, she was estranged from all of her kids for a number of years, she should not have custody of any child while she is still in recovery. I hope this works in Michael’s favour. Hopefully once this is all settled he can arrange access for June and the rest of the family and they can all coparent happily.

  8. I’m so glad he did this, she deserves to be with her sister and the only Dad she’s ever known after losing her mom.

  9. How can a judge know that june is the person who rekindled a romance with a man who molested her daughter and think that little Kaitlyn is going to be safe with her? How is this possible? Also, could Anna have signed custody of kaitlyn to Michael before her death so this would have been taken care of already?

  10. As a mom with stage 4 cancer i can guarantee that all Anna thought about is where her girls would live and raise them. Also paperwork would of been done beforehand for Kaitlyn custody. So i find it odd that she didn’t place him as guardian for her or that he didn’t try to talk about kaitlin custody before bringing in the courts to traumatize her even more. My guess is he found out how much survivors benefits are thorough ssi for his daughter and was like 2 is better than 1

    1. I’m sorry to hear about what your going through. I pray that you heal and you will not have to worry about who will take care of your kids ❤️

    2. It’s far more likely that June is the one eyeing SSI than Michael. He has been raising Kaitlyn since infancy and has never exploited his kids like June has.

    3. I highly doubt he’s thinking about the dollar signs. He has been her daddy since she was an infant, pays for her schooling, and has visitation with both girls regularly, not just with his bio daughter. June’s the one eyeing the dollar signs, this poor little girl doesn’t need to be exploited on their reality show or all over her social media, which is what would happen.

  11. Good on him! I hope he wins that way the girls
    Can grow up together and she can have a consistent person in her life who can look after her properly

  12. I love stories of men stepping up to do the right thing for children. Regardless of whether the child is biologically theirs or not. That girl deserves to be with her sister and the man who raised her instead of the woman who has consistently shown to be a terrible decision maker for not only herself but her family as well. She doesn’t even have custody of her own child, nor should she. To be romantically involved with a man who MOLESTED your child is despicable.

  13. That is such a relief. Hope he wins. If he has a gofundme for legal fees, I bet people would contribute.

    It’s completely shitty (which isn’t surprising) that June would try to keep Kaitlyn from her dad and sister. She has never been any kind of mom to Anna and she has no business keeping Kaitlyn. She’s barely sober, in poor health, and lost custody of her own kid. Michael has been the only dad Kaitlyn has ever known and the fact that he’s fighting for her when he doesn’t have to proves it.

  14. I hope he wins, those girls need to be together, especially if he’s a father figure for both. He should’ve adopted Kaytlin to avoid this kind of trouble but of course no one thinks a 29 year old woman would die from cancer

  15. Well that’s what a real father looks like, regardless of what genetics or the law says.

    I hope the Court will grant him custody.

  16. I truly hope that Michael gets custody of her. Those sisters need to be together as they have been their entire life. Michael may not be Kaitlyn’s biological father but he is most definitely her Daddy.

    June couldn’t raise her own kids. I don’t know if anyone follows on Reddit but June has been making many disgusting tik tok’s since Anna’s death. One of them she said “Well…Anna doesn’t know who Kaitlin’s father was, she tested 6 men and then gave up. Not that I’m saying anything bad on Anna you know…”

    Worse still and I apologize to The Ashley and all of you because I feel disgusting even typing it. People have gone on tik tok and expressed their concern for Kaitlyn being in June’s custody. So June says, “If all of my OG’s are here you know what I’m about to say….apparently you didn’t get your coochie licked today or your dick sucked…” in the middle of saying that she responds to someone who again asked about Kaitlyn “Yeah…I have custody of Kaitlyn y’all.” (which she doesn’t have custody yet y’all🙄)

    She is beyond crude and vile. June wants Kaitlyn for a storyline. June would be able to collect Social security benefits on Kaitlyn. June stole $500,000 from Anna. She wouldn’t hesitate to do the same to Kaitlyn. Do we really see June getting off her ass and taking Kaitlyn to school, helping her with schoolwork, giving her healthy meals, being there to comfort and guide her and love her unconditionally with no expected financial benefit?
    Hell no!!

  17. This is so very sad. Nothing is mentioned regarding Anna’s wishes for Kaitlyn. I think what Anna wanted should be of paramount importance. Part of me doesn’t understand why custody wasn’t straightened out prior to her passing. Surely she made arrangements for Kaitlyn. As much as I feel, in my gut, that Kaitlyn should be with Michael, I’m willing to overlook that and agree that she should be with Mama June IF that was what was discussed and was what she wanted. I have a hard time believing that is what Anna wanted, but an even harder time believing that Anna, who clearly loves her children, did not consider custody in the event of her passing and straighten this out in advance. @TheAshley, do you know what Anna arranged for or if she made arrangements at all?

  18. I always liked Michael. He took on responsibility for Kaitlyn when he was a very young man and didn’t have to. He never seemed to want to really be a part of the show. He tried hard to provide for Anna and the girls. He never, to my knowledge, did anything sketchy or went selling stories/talking crap when they divorced. He remained Kaitlyn’s father when he had absolutely no obligation to do so. It seems like him and Anna had a very healthy co-parenting relationship and put the girls first.

    I really hope the courts take his side in this. I wonder if June manipulated Anna when she was dying (and probably on pain meds) to agree to letting her have Kaitlyn? I took care of my aunt when she was dying of very aggressive cancer, and she was not in her right mind at all towards the end.

  19. This is what a great parent looks like. Bloodline not required. I hope he gets custody of her. June doesn’t need children in her care.

  20. Those girls need to be together and Kaitlyn needs to be with the only father she knows. I lost my mum young and I couldn’t imagine being separated from my dad and siblings after the fact. They are the only reason I survived it. Plus, June has lost or given up custody of two out of her four children. She is not and has never been mother material. She gave up Anna and Alana for half their childhoods.

  21. Why wasn’t this sorted out properly beforehand?

    June must have manipulated her way into this arrangement. It’s the only logical way this went down.
    June taking advantage of Anna and her condition to get custody of this child makes a lot of sense bc under any other circumstances, it wouldn’t happen.

  22. Why the hell are the giving June custody of another child after she lost custody of her own damn child to begin with?!? Kaitlyn should be with her sister and the dad who has been there for her since she was a baby. Not the drug addict loser grandma

    1. No one has given June custody, it’s just that Kaitlyn’s bio father isn’t in the picture at all, so June has kinda just taken on custody since they were staying at her house when Anna passed. Hopefully a judge will see that Michael is the most stable parental figure for her and keeps the girls together with him. But if Anna didn’t make any legal arrangements for her daughter beforehand, then it will definitely be a fight unfortunately. I can’t imagine with the history that Anna had with her mom that she would want Kaitlyn raised by June, but at the same time if she didn’t make legal arrangements knowing that her time was limited, that was not very responsible. Who knows though, maybe she did make arrangements for her to stay with June and we just don’t know it. Michael has a good reason to fight it though, he’s spent more time with Kaitlyn over her whole life than June has, has supported her financially and emotionally, etc.

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