Thursday 18 July 2019

Molly Martens leaves courtroom in tears as judge rules final decision on custody dispute children

Jack (10) and Sarah (8) to return to Ireland with aunt and uncle

Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Jason Corbett's wife Molly Martens Corbett left the courtroom in tears today after a judge ruled the pair of Irish children at the centre of an emotional custody dispute can return to Ireland with their aunt and uncle.

Molly Martens Corbett left the court room supported by her nearly 30 family members and friends who came to the hearing.

Kim Bonuomo, lawyer for for Tracey and David Lynch said her clients are relieved that they can return home with their niece and nephew Jack, 10, and Sarah, 8.

"Our clients are happy to go home to Ireland and grieve with their family,"  she said with tears in her eyes. "They're relieved to take the children with them so they can love them and help them process their grief and take care of them."

Corbett Martens' lawyers and family had no comment. 

It was revealed earlier today that Jason Corbett’s wife Molly Martens was to contest the custody of her stepchildren.

Jason Corbett was killed in his home in North Carolina
Jason Corbett was killed in his home in North Carolina

David Freeman, attorney for Ms Martens, said today that his client has been the mother of Jack (10) and Sarah (8) for the past eight years, and she would fight to keep the children.

Mr Freeman told Newtalk’s Jonathan Healy today that Jack and Sarah were “ripped” away from her on Monday night.

“She was devastated. She has effectively been their mother for the past eight years. When she first met Sarah and Jack they were three and one [years-old]. She went over there [to Limerick] just as an au pair and she loves them so much.”

“On Monday night, not only were the children taken from her, but the children were literally ripped out of her home with no warning to her whatsoever, with their pyjamas on… it was a horrible sight.”

The late Jason Corbett
The late Jason Corbett

“She’s very upset. They were together for a long period of time, regardless of the circumstances that have come about. It’s been a very traumatic two weeks for her,” he added.

Yesterday, Jason’s children, Jack (10) and Sarah (8), were put into the custody of his sister Tracey Lynch by a US judge.

Mrs Lynch has been in the US for two weeks as Molly Martens Corbett tried to get custody of the children.

This was despite the fact that she is a suspect in Mr Corbett's murder, alongside her father Thomas Martens.

Mr Freeman said Jason chose Molly as the mother of his children.

“I think Jason chose Molly essentially to be the children’s mother. He put the children with Molly, not only did he name Molly in Ireland but he brought them to the United States where Molly was primarily the sole caregiver, who’d give emotional support to the children. That will was done prior to the marriage.

“He actually took steps to become a more permanent citizen here. He got paperwork both for himself, and for Jack and Sarah, as permanent residents.”

“I would say all of Jason’s choices since the marriage have been to establish Molly as the mother.”

“We have some witnesses here to say that his wishes were to make them American citizens and to stay here with Molly.”

Molly was to contest the guardianship and custody of Jack and Sarah, he said.

“It’s very sad. The Corbetts are very nice people. I understand they love the children too. Molly’s actions are not against the Corbetts. This has nothing to do with not honouring them, it’s that she’s effectively been their mother for the past eight years, and she feels, and we feel that she is the person best equipped to be their mother and their caregiver.”

“We feel this is in the best interests of the children and this is what we’ve been advocating for. We don’t wish to hurt anybody or take anybody away from anything. We just wish to maintain the status quo.”

Mr Freeman today insisted that Molly has been cooperative with the police in their investigation into Jason’s death, and the children are “the most important thing to her”.

“From the beginning Ms Martens has been cooperative with the police, has given full statements to provide information and will continue to provide information. She has nothing to hide, as shown by her cooperation with the police and her willingness to take the witness stand.”

“The children are the most important thing to her.”

He added: “The problem is as long as the issue is being determined here in the United States, should at some point the courts decide best to go with the Lynches, they can always do that, but should the court decide to send the kids back to Ireland, then essentially the court loses any jurisdiction and Molly has no opportunity to have custody of the children again.”

Today, it was revealed that Molly had been seeking legal advice about divorce and custody of his two children two years before his death.

However, Mr Freeman said: “She’s never instituted any actions. She did talk to a lawyer at one point about problems in the relationship, but she never actually instituted any actions in the courts.”

“I don’t think it damages her case. I think effectively the court is supposed to look at what is the best interest of the children at the end of the day.”

“The guardianship is one issue because on that date the court went with the will which had predated the marriage… custody is a little more complicated because they have to look at the children. What we’re asking for is for the court to look at the children, talk to the children, do a full custody review and allow them to have some input so that they can explain that the woman that they’ve called mother and mommy for the past eight years is who they wish to live with.”

“No disrespect… effectively Molly is their mother and they do not want to be ripped away from their mother,” he added.

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