After a long and dramatic saga at the end of last year, country singer Mindy McCready was discovered in a closet in Arkansas with her son Zander. McCready had taken the five-year-old his Florida home, where he lived with McCready’s mother, his legal guardian. Zander was placed in foster care after the pair were found, and now a court has decided that he will stay in foster care in Arkansas — even though the case is being decided in Florida.

The situation is a bit tangled, as the custody battle is in Florida and the boy is in Arkansas. Both states are trying to gain jurisdiction over the case, with McCready pushing for it to happen in Arkansas, while Zander’s father Billy McKnight is trying to keep the case in Florida. However, a Florida judge ruled Wednesday (Feb. 22) that he will retain jurisdiction over the custody battle, but that the boy is allowed to stay in Arkansas, where a social services representative says Zander is thriving.

Though McKnight was hoping to move his son to Florida, the Arkansas social services agency is considering paying for travel and hotel expenses so the boy’s father can come to Arkansas to visit once a month. This decision is a bit controversial, obviously, since that money would come from the pockets of Arkansas taxpayers. Amy Webb of the Arkansas Department of Human Services further explained this to Today’s THV.

“In some cases in out of state cases we look at the financial impact,” she said. “Would it be better for the taxpayers to pay for a flight for a parent on occasion for a short time period or would it be better for the taxpayers to pay multiple times to have case-workers fly to the other state, stay there several days so they could testify or have the child fly back and forth.”

McCready, who is currently pregnant with twins, has followed orders to complete parental classes, and she has also passed every drug test administered to her since the whole situation began in December.

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