Divorce attorneys in Pasadena have seen couples dissolve after horrifying, life-changing events. In fact, few families remain intact after a child has been abducted or murdered, but the case of John and Tanya Skelton is different. The two announced they would divorce this week as their three sons remain missing. A Detroit court granted a divorce as John remains in jail on kidnapping charges.
Judge Margaret M.S. Noe granted the divorce to the couple and awarded custody of the missing children to Tanya Skelton. The missing boys - Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton - were last seen in the custody of their father, who claims his sons are with an organization that police say they have been unable to locate. Tanya filed for divorce back in September after John took two of their sons to Florida without her permission. The children have been missing since November.
John Skelton has been in jail for months facing kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment charges. He said in a divorce hearing on Tuesday that he no longer agrees to a judgment of divorce he had previously signed because he doesn't want Tanya to have custody. Skelton, who represented himself at the hearing, said, "If she is granted custody, they won't be available to either of us." Skelton told Noe, "It's not in my control."
Still, he insists he had nothing to do with his children's disappearance.
"I didn't take the kids," he said.
Tanya said the children were sent to his home for a Thanksgiving visit.
"Six months-plus later, I have not seen my children and he will not say where they are," she said in court.
The divorce was granted and Tanya Skelton did not seek financial restitution from John Skelton.
The missing children are widely believed to be the victims of homicide. Authorities have yet to find any trace of the three boys.