Amanza Smith is trying ahead.
The Selling Sundown star, 44, was awarded full custody of her two kids — daughter Noah, 11, and son Braker, 10 — in a Los Angeles courthouse on Wednesday, in keeping with court docket paperwork obtained by PEOPLE. The choice got here as the youngsters’s father and Smith’s ex-husband, former NFL participant Ralph Brown, remains missing.
Smith and Brown, who divorced in 2012, shared 50/50 custody of the kids till his disappearance in August 2019 — the final time the Oppenheim Group actual property agent or her kids heard from him. Smith has told PEOPLE in the past that the kids spent half of the week with Brown till his sudden disappearance from their lives.
The court docket paperwork point out that Smith now has sole authorized and bodily custody of Noah and Braker, and that Brown won’t have visitation rights.
“I’m relieved that this long process is over. It’s been incredibly hard on me and especially the children,” Smith tells PEOPLE in an announcement. “We will never be ‘over’ the absence of their father, but hopefully we can move forward in a more positive way now that we are unhindered by the legal obstacles that prevented me from making the decisions that are best for us as a family of three.”
A rep for the star provides, (*2*)
The court docket paperwork point out that Brown “has not been involved in this case for 2 years,” and in them, he’s ordered to “provide his current contact information to the court.” Moreover, if he needs visitation rights sooner or later, he must file a “Request for Order for Modification of Visitation.”
Smith spoke to PEOPLE concerning the scenario with Brown in February, explaining that she had determined to talk out to attempt to find him.
“I made the choice to put my life on a television show, and when I made that choice this wasn’t our reality, but it is now,” Smith mentioned on the time. “So I’ll as nicely use the platform to try to figure out how to get some answers.”
Whereas she mentioned she was uncertain what led to his disappearance, she speculated that it could possibly be associated to a medical situation, particularly CTE, a mind situation related to repeated trauma to the pinnacle.
The inside designer-turned-real property actuality star spoke candidly about Brown on an episode of the Expensive Media podcast Not Skinny But Not Fat in October 2020, telling host Amanda Hirsch, “I don’t know where he is” however “I’m positive he’s alive.”
“He was a great father when he was around. He was a very loyal, hands-on, dedicated, interactive father,” she added, admitting, “I know it sounds so crazy.”
She famous that the final time she noticed him was Aug. 26, 2019 — however the final time she heard from him was just a few days later, on Sept. 1. “He sent me an email, and he said, ‘My situation isn’t good right now. I can’t financially take care of the children. It’s not safe for them to be with me. You need to keep them until my situation changes,'” she informed Hirsch on the time.
Smith has additionally shared that Brown’s household has been unresponsive all through the scenario, regardless of her leaving them a number of calls, emails, textual content messages, and extra. “Anytime I reach out to anyone I get blocked,” she informed Hirsch, including that it has been traumatic for her kids, as they have been “very close to their grandparents, aunts, and uncles.”
The previous mannequin shared that she additionally grew up with out her father, so she is aware of how exhausting this have to be for the kids.
“If he does come back, it’ll never go back to 50/50 [custody],” she mentioned on the time. “They’re amazing kids, but they’re hurt.
“That is the type of stuff that is going to return again up later [in their lives],” she added. “Braker is offended, and Noah is unhappy.”