Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Give Up Custody of 15-Year-Old Nephew After 7 Years of Guardianship

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Source: @duggarfam/Instagram

Sep. 19 2023, Published 8:21 p.m. ET

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Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have chosen to give up legal guardianship of their 15-year-old nephew to his grandparents after raising him for seven years.

The Duggars first obtained custody of Tyler Hutchins in 2016, after his mother, Rachel Hutchins — who is Michelle’s sister Carolyn's daughter — was unable to provide for his everyday needs.

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Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have raised Tyler since 2016.

It is unclear exactly what led to the decision to give up guardianship of their nephew, according to court documents obtained by a news outlet, however, Tyler's grandparents reportedly took physical custody only three days after the premiere of Prime Video's bombshell docuseries Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets.

There is currently no indication that the change in custody had anything to do with the contents of the series. Jim Bob and Michelle also agreed to allow his grandparents resume custody.

"We specifically consent to the appointment of his grandparents, John Martin Hutchins and Carolyn Jeanette Hutchins, as general guardians of minor child Tyler Wayne Hutchins and enter our appearance for any necessary purposes and proceedings in any court of contempt jurisdiction to be instituted for formal and legal guardianship of said child," the couple's statements read in the legal papers filed in June.

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Tyler Hutchins celebrating his 13th birthday at Top Golf.

Carolyn and John explained in their own statements that they have had custody of Tyler since June 5, as well as previously having had "physical control and custody" for nearly a year, from August 2015 to June 2016, prior to when the Duggar patriarch and matriarch became his guardians.

"The Petitioners, husband and wife, are legally qualified to serve as guardians of said person," the Hutchins' filing continued. "The Petitioners believe that they are the fit and proper persons to provide for the care and welfare of Tyler. They are requesting that they be the appointed guardians."

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Jim Bob and Michelle consented to the transfer of guardianship.

Jim Bob Duggar

They also noted that Rachel "entrusted Tyler to the care and control of the Petitioners [his grandparents]," because the 30-year-old mother is still "presently unable to meet Tyler’s health, safety, and other needs."

"Ms. Hutchins is unemployed, has no income, lacks any means of transportation, and is currently on probation," the court papers added, before noting that Rachel "does not object to this grant of guardianship."

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"The Petitioners have the means and commitment to provide a stable and secure home environment for Tyler, and they respectfully petition this court to appoint them as Tyler’s guardians."

The filing also stated that Tyler only has $204 in his bank account, despite reportedly having had $7,851 in his savings in October 2022, according to his annual report. It is unclear what happened to the money.

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Tyler celebrated his birthday with his Duggar cousins.

Although he does not have a heavy presence in their social media, Jim Bob and Michelle shared pictures of Tyler celebrating his 13th birthday to their Instagram in 2021, calling him a "very special part" of the family.

"We celebrated his birthday with a fun afternoon together at Top Golf," they captioned a carousel of photos. "I really can’t get over how much our boys grow on a weekly/monthly basis!! 😍 Love these fellas... and the fella behind the camera (Jim Bob!)"

The Sun reported the details of the court documents.


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