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'Prank' videos could end in parents losing custody of 2 of 5 kids

Several videos on a YouTube channel could end up costing a father and stepmother custody of two of their five children. The videos were heavily criticized by viewers who believed the actions of the father and stepmother amounted to verbal and physical abuse.

Deputies with the local sheriff's office took two of the children and placed them with their biological mother. A hearing will be held to determine if the temporary custody will become permanent custody.

When viewers began berating the couple over the videos, they initially defended them. The videos reportedly show the children subjected to profanity-laced criticisms, destroying the children's gaming system and accusations of messes they hadn't made. Sometimes, the children were crying.

The videos have been deleted and replaced with an apology video from the father and stepmother. The couple appeared on "Good Morning America," saying they had made enough money on the videos to start a college fund, although there was no specific amount given.

The biological mother of the two children said that it was "very heartbreaking and disturbing to see my kids being abused." She told reporters that it had been in 2014 that she last saw her son and 2015 since she last saw her daughter. She also stated that she had a very difficult custody battle with the children's father.

If you are in the midst of a difficult custody battle or see that such a custody fight is on the horizon, an experienced attorney can help. He or she can develop a strong case to present to the court that shows why awarding you custody is in the best interests of your children.

Source: The New York Times, "Children Taken From Maryland Couple After YouTube ‘Prank’ Videos," Daniel Victor, May 03, 2017

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