'Prank' Videos on YouTube Cost Parents Child Custody

A court placed two children whose father and stepmother had custody with their biological mother. Apparently, YouTube can cost parents child custody. The mother of the children stating (via another Youtube video) that the court gave her “emergency custody.”

So, why were the two children taken from the father and his current wife? Apparently, Child Protective Services (CPS) was repeatedly asked to act against father and stepmother after they allegedly posted “prank” videos. Those videos, posted on YouTube, appeared to show abusive behavior towards two children. Unusually, a petition from Change.org called for CPS involvement.

Father Tells Why He Posted Videos

The father played the pranks on two children. First, as part of the prank, he encouraged each child to beat up on the other. Many of the videos focused on a 12-year-old sister and her brother. The pranks often targeted the boy, leaving him in tears. The boy was also reportedly told that he was being put up for adoption. His father also smashed the boys electronics.

The father and stepmother have five children total, but the two children described above were the targets of abuse. The biological mother said that the boy was told that she didn’t want him and that he was “thrown away like garbage.”

We have posted about mistakes parents make in custody actions.

Social Media & Videos Impact Family Law

The videos have all been removed and an apology video has been uploaded in their place. And, of course, the father and stepmother appeared on “Good Morning America.” There, they said the child abuse allegations are under investigation by the police. He also said that he staged a lot of the video content, although some of it was real. He then said, “Because of my poor decisions, now my family’s suffering. I was able to do so many things for my family because of this YouTube channel. We were able to give the kids a college fund… [But] I ended up destroying my family thinking that I was helping my family.”

It’s All About Evidence

If you believe your children are being verbally or physically abused, it is important to let the police investigate the situation. Your attorney can help you appeal to the court for emergency custody in order to keep your children safe.

Source: USA Today, “YouTube stars lose custody of children after controversial ‘prank’ videos,” Mary Bowerman, May 03, 2017

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