90 Day Fiancé alum Paul Staehle detailed his legal battle with a family member as he and his wife, Karine Staehle, continue to fight Child Protective Services (CPS) for custody of their two sons.
“My cousin has filed a motion to attempt to keep custody and to remove all Karine and my parental and custodial rights permanently,” Paul, 40, wrote via his Instagram Stories on Wednesday, May 24. He went on to claim that the motion allegedly requests that Karine’s visitations be terminated and that their sons Pierre and Ethan’s last names be changed.
Paul claimed that his cousin – whose name he did not reveal – has instructed Pierre, 4, and Ethan, 15 months, to refer to her as “mom” and Karine, 27, as her first name.
“She is adamant that they have zero future contact with myself, Karine or any of [Karine’s] family,” the father of two wrote, alleging that his cousin said Karine’s native Brazil “is a poor country where they abuse children.”
Paul then claimed that an upcoming article will be published detailing the criminal history of his cousin’s husband.
“Karine is completing her final court ordered requirement to get custody back,” Paul wrote in a following Instagram Stories slide. “Very sad she has worked so hard for this.”
The TLC personality claimed that his cousin was trying to “keep custody and prevent proper reunification of her and our children” and “completely erase Karine from their life.”
After noting that he lost custody of their sons Pierre and Ethan “less than 12 months ago,” Paul posted a screenshot of what appeared to be his cousin’s claims in legal paperwork.
According to the cousin, Paul “fails to make sufficient progress toward identified goals as set forth in the court-approved case plan to allow for the safe return of the child to the parent that results in the child remaining in foster care for fifteen (15) of the most recent twenty-two (22) months.”
The former reality star then shared an alleged screenshot from his cousin’s business’s Facebook account, explaining that Pierre and Ethan are currently in her care. She then claimed that Karine made allegations against her that are untrue, though did not specify the allegations.
Karine responded to the Facebook post by writing, “You know what you and your husband called me in your home do not deny it.”
Alongside the screenshot, Paul claimed that his cousin and her family “abused Karine during her visits” with her sons and that his cousin’s child “bullies” Ethan and Pierre.
He added that one of his sons has started punching other children and Karine, claiming that he was “never violent” before he was placed in Paul’s cousin’s care.
Viewers met the couple during season 1 of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days in 2017. After they tied the knot in November 2017, Paul and Karine welcomed Pierre in March 2019 and Ethan in February 2021.
After Paul and Karine faced several ups and downs in their relationship, they split in December 2021 after a clip circulated online that showed the pair allegedly involved in a physical fight inside their Kentucky home.
Karine filed a restraining order against her then-estranged husband on December 30, 2021, claiming that she was a victim of rape and domestic violence, according to the legal paperwork. However, In Touch exclusively reported that the Brazil native dropped the restraining order in February.
News first broke of Paul and Karine’s custody battle with CPS in June 2022 when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent out a missing person alert for Pierre. Pierre was thought to be missing because he and Ethan were already in the custody of CPS at the time, while authorities thought that Pierre was possibly with Paul at the time of his disappearance.
Days later, Pierre was found and he was taken to the same foster family as Ethan.
Since losing custody, the pair have been working together to gain back custody. They even rekindled their romance, with In Touch confirming they were “officially back together” as of April 2023.