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High Profile Child Custody Battles: Cheryl Walker v. Rebecca Soteros

The names Cheryl Walker and Rebecca Soteros may not be immediately recognizable to many. However, their custody battle has piqued the interest of thousands nationwide. Why? Cheryl Walker is the mother of Paul Walker, the “Fast & Furious” star who died tragically in an automobile accident this past November.  Rebecca Soteros is the mother of Meadow Rain Walker, Paul Walker’s daughter. The battle between Ms. Walker and Ms. Soteros stems from a Petition for Guardianship file by Cheryl Walker after her son’s death seeking guardianship of Meadow Rain. It is likely that Ms. Walker filed the petition seeking guardianship of Meadow Rain due to Soteros’s issues with alcohol abuse.

During a May hearing in the case, Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner David J. Cowan dismissed Walker’s guardianship case after hearing evidence from Amy Nieman, an attorney appointed to represent Meadow Rain that judicial intervention was not warranted because the best interest of the child were currently being met, and there were appropriate plans in place for Meadow Rain’s care. Additionally, because Meadow Rain is 15, around the age at which courts generally begin to give consideration to the wishes on minor children it custody disputes, it is likely that Meadow Rain’s desire to have the case dismissed also played  meaningful role in the court’s decision.

Recently, Soteros has been spending time with her daughter while also receiving treatment for her alcoholism, and according to Meadow Rain’s attorney, Soteros is currently sober. Once Soteros’s treatment is complete, she will join Meadow Rain, who is now living with a caretaker in a home purchased by the late movie star’s estate. Although it is unlikely Cheryl Walker agrees with the court’s decision in this case, according to her attorney, she has accepted the arrangement “in the absence of a better plan.”

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