25 Apr YouTube “Prank Parents” Have Lost Custody of Their Children: Parenting Choices That Will Make a Family Court Take Notice
Several news outlets are reporting that the popular YouTube “prank parents” has lost custody of their children pending a child abuse investigation. Maryland parents Mike and Heather Martin founded a YouTube channel called DaddyOFive and used the channel to post videos of them ‘pranking’ their children. Although many of the videos have now been removed, news outlets are reporting that some them showed the Martins yelling at the children, swearing at them, and blaming them for things they didn’t do. Some of the videos are relatively disturbing and include the children screaming and crying.
It appears that two of these children are actually the stepchildren of Heather Martin. Their biological mother appears to have filed a court action to gain emergency custody pending further investigation and a hearing. http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/baltimore-insider-blog/bs-fe-daddyofive-rose-hall-custody-youtube-michael-heather-martin-20170501-story.html. Even more surprisingly, biological mother Rose Hall apparently had not even seen the children for several years.
Mike and Heather Martin uploaded a public apology for their actions on April 22, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8lV8KIVWvfsaqOi_d3Wu3w
As a Colorado family law firm we think this story serves as a reminder to all parents that when you are involved in a custody dispute, you are held to a higher standard than parents who are cohabitating and raising their children together cooperatively. Certain parenting choices like spanking, co-sleeping, or over-the-line pranks are actions that wouldn’t necessarily inspire a Human Services investigation but would certainly merit mention in a disputed custody battle. It is really important to know and inform yourself of the types of parenting choices that will make a family court take notice.