The battle over custody of Paul Walker’s daughter, Meadow, may soon be over. Earlier this week, Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner David J. Cowan denied a petition for the late actor’s mother to temporarily receive guardianship of the 15-year-old. Cowan concluded that a change in guardianship was not necessary for the time being.
"Why is temp guardianship needed?” he wrote in a minute order, per People. “What is urgency?”
Meadow Walker has been staying with her grandmother, Cheryl Walker, since August, three months before Paul Walker’s death in a car accident. After Paul’s death, Meadow’s mother, Rebecca Soteros, moved in with Cheryl and Meadow. But when Cheryl Walker filed for legal guardianship of her granddaughter, she set off a potential custody battle.
“This has been hard on everyone close to them,” a source told E! News after Cheryl Walker’s custody filing. [Meadow and her mom] didn't know," the insider continued. "There have been discussions but no one told them they were going ahead with it. They first heard about it when they saw it on TMZ. They are very disgusted by this. It's completely thoughtless and disrespectful.”
In her petition, Cheryl Walker alleged that Rebecca Soteros could not have custody of Meadow because of a drinking problem. Soteros has been charged with two DUIs over the last six year. But late last month, the elder Walker privately agreed to give guardianship to Soteros, provided she enter rehab and submit to drug testing.
In fact, People claimed that Cheryl Walker’s lawyer, Bela Lugosi, was the one who requested the judge dismiss the bid for temporary guardianship of Meadow. Lugosi told the magazine that both sides are trying to settle the matter out of court. This likely was a reference to the aforementioned deal requiring Soteros’ rehab stint.
Still, it’s worth noting that permanent custody of Meadow Walker has not been officially determined. A hearing on this issue is scheduled for the end of April.
And, as family law expert Andrew Katzenstein noted, Cheryl Walker’s petition for temporary guardianship was dismissed without prejudice. This means the grandmother can re-file again in the future.
But for the moment, it seems likely that Cheryl Walker and Rebecca Soteros will finalize their out-of-court custody agreement. But should Meadow’s mother relapse in her attempt to get sober, the elder Walker may want to petition for guardianship once again. And if one source is any indication, Soteros won’t give up the fight that easily.
“Knowing Rebecca, I know she would never let anyone else care for her daughter,” an insider told E! News. “She loves her. She has always been and will always be a good mother and there is no reason for a change. She will fight this, I'm sure, until her last breath to be [Meadow's] mom. All she wants is to have her child.”