Aaron Carter Dead: Custody of Son Prince Made Official

Aaron Carter's on-again, off-again fiancée, Melanie Martin, has regained full custody of their 1-year-old son Prince. A little more than a month after the "I Want Candy" singer's tragic death at the age of 34, and following a months-long custody battle, a Los Angeles court this week awarded Martin full custody of her son.

TMZ confirmed the news Thursday night, with sources telling the outlet that a hearing was held in Los Angeles on Thursday. During that hearing, Martin was found fit to care for her child and was awarded full custody of Prince, whom the couple welcomed in November 2021. Carter and Martin had a notably tumultuous relationship. Just one week after Prince's birth, they called off their engagement, Carter sharing on social media at the time that "due to personal reason[s] Melanie Martin and I have decided to go our separate ways." Prior to his passing, Carter was also dealing with custody issues with Martin. It was previously reported that the former couple lost custody, reportedly due to concerns over drug abuse and domestic violence. Prince was placed under the care of Martin's mother, whom he has been living with since September. Earlier this year, Carter filed for custody of their son and a petition for protection against Martin at the Antelope Valley Courthouse in Los Angeles County, accusing Martin of "emotional distress, anguish, shoving, & scratching."

According to TMZ's sources, Martin was actually in New York at the time the hearing was held and full custody was granted. Her legal team promptly contacted her with the news, with her representative confirming to the outlet that Martin as of Thursday night, she was on her way back home to California to reunite with her son. Her representative added that Martin was "extremely happy and eager to see her son."

"I'm honoring Aaron today and I know he would be so proud of me. I'm very emotional thinking we could have been a family, but Aaron would be so happy knowing I got him back," Martin shared in a statement to TMZ, her mother, Jane Schneck, adding that the court's decision was the right call and "The child should be with the mother."

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The court's decision comes just over a month after Carter was found dead in a bathtub at his Lancaster, California home on Nov. 5. He was 34. According to Carter's death certificate, his remains were cremated and his cause of death was listed as deferred while toxicology tests were completed. While Carter did not have a will, his family confirmed to TMZ that they were in agreement in wishing to have Carter's entire estate go to Prince.