The New Year is already looking promising for Amber Portwood! After years of fighting to win back custody of her daughter Leah, the Teen Mom OG star has confirmed that she will share joint custody of the 7-year-old with ex-fiancée Gary Shirley.
“We finally came to an agreement and I’m very happy that Gary and I are going to share joint custody of Leah,” the TMOG star exclusively told OKMagazine.com. “This is something I’ve been waiting for. The time is perfect.”
Although the agreement is “not completely finalized” at the moment, the 25-year-old stressed 50/50 custody is “something that needed to be done.”
Full custody of Leah was granted to Shirley in 2012 when Portwood agreed to a five-year jail sentence to help combat her addiction to prescription pills. Since her November 2013 release, the reality star has maintained her sobriety to win back custody of her daughter.
Despite Shirley’s hesitation to agree to 50/50 custody, which will be a storyline on the upcoming season of TMOG, Portwood was able to convince him. “We talked for 30 minutes and I said, 'This is not healthy for any of us, this is not healthy for Leah, let’s just be adults and do this,’” she explained. “There are certain things I did that made him feel a little better about it.”
Although the ex-couple are on friendly terms now, Portwood accused Shirley of convincing Leah to not want to spend time with her mother during their battle. “It was in the beginning of the custody battle,” she said of the TMOG preview clip. “Things were being said over there. We have a great relationship and then all of a sudden she didn’t want to come over she had never said that before. I said something to Gary and she hasn’t been that way since. We’re back to normal.”
Despite the former family drama, Portwood insisted her daughter has been thriving in school. “Within the last year she’s turned into this little girl,” she said. “She’s very smart, she makes A’s in school and she loves to read! I couldn’t be any luckier.”
The season premiere of TMOG airs Monday at 10/9c on MTV.