The older sister of 14-year-old "Modern Family" actress Ariel Winter will remain her temporary guardian, according to an agreement reached with their mother on Wednesday after a custody battle that had involved allegations of abuse.
Winter, who plays Alex Dunphy on the Emmy-winning ABC sitcom, was removed from her mother Chrisoula Workman's home last month after her sister, Shanelle Gray, filed a petition accusing the woman of subjecting the star to physical and emotional abuse. Winter had also signed the papers and moved in with her sister, who was granted temporary guardianship.
It was extended on November 20 at a hearing, where it was revealed that the L.A. Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) found that the allegations of physical abuse were inconclusive, but added that there was evidence of emotional abuse and recommended that Winter remain with her sister.
At a court hearing on Wednesday, December 12, Gray and Workman reached an agreement under which Winter's sister would remain the actress' temporary guardian.
Their father and Workman's ex, Glenn, would act as the temporary guardian of ther estate and would sign off on her paychecks, which will be invested into accounts without the possibility of being withdrawn without her or her representative's permission. Both actions will remain in effect until March 29, 2012, when another hearing will take place, OTRC.com has learned.
Workman is not allowed to contact or interfere with professionals involved in Winter's career and is also banned from any area where her daughter is working without the actress' or Gray's permission, the agreement states. It also says that the family must continue seeing therapists and that a family counselor must submit a progress report on or before the next court date.
At Wednesday's hearing, Winter's mother was spotted crying and said her family members are trying to work together. Winter was seen holding hands with Gray and the two did not interact with their mom. The actress appeared to be in good spirits, shaking hands with people and hugging her court-appointed attorney. Officers escorted her out of the courthouse through an underground parking garage.
Winter's mother had always denied the allegations of abuse, as did her son and Winter's brother, Jimmy Workman, who played Pugsley in "The Addams Family" movies.
An attorney for Winter's father had previously said the patriarch objects to Gray's temporary guardianship and that he would be willing to move back into Chrisoula's family home if he was given guardianship instead, while she herself had declared she would agree to leave the house and seek therapy with Winter.
Chrisoula's lawyer told the judge at the November 20 hearing that just because she's a controlling mother, it does not mean she's an unsuitable parent. However, she argued that Gray is not fit to be one, since she's young and has her own family to take care of, and also suggested it is better for Winter to be with her father and be ordered into therapy.
Gray's attorney said Winter has no relationship with her dad and that she was "doing quite well" while under her sister's care.
Check out a sketch of Ariel Winter in court, courtesy of Mona. S. Edwards.