Mindy McCready sent back to rehab, and her son's father, Billy McKnight, wants him back in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. - The ex-boyfriend of troubled country singer Mindy McCready is determined to win custody of their young son.

Wednesday, a judge ordered McCready to return to rehab, landing six-year-old Zander in foster care again.

Zander's father, singer Billy McKnight believes that every day his son is in state custody in Arkansas, is just another day he's suffering, away from his family, and McKnight worries that could have lifelong consequences.

"He needs to be out of that foster care," McKnight said. "He doesn't belong there. He's unhappy and this is unfair."

McKnight says a lot has changed since he met a 23-year-old McCready. He blames constant drinking and pill popping for getting the best of her.

"Mindy's life is not in control and she has some demons she has to conquer and she hasn't done that yet," he said. "Incident after incident after incident and my son is the one who's hurting and paying the price for all this."

Zander has been stuck in family limbo almost since birth, once given to McCready's mother during a previous jail sentence.

After that, McCready abducted him from Florida to Arkansas, where police later found them hiding in a closet. Now, McCready's facing at least three weeks in a mental health and alcohol abuse center.

Both of her two sons are now in foster care, but the one she shares with McKnight won't be there much longer, if he has any say.

"For the life of me, I can't figure out why he's not home right here with me, in a stable environment," McKnight said. "Right now she's in no position to be raising children."

McKnight has a lawyer and plans to head to Arkansas to begin his custody battle very soon. Though he's also faced jail time for violent behavior and allegations of substance abuse, he says he's turned his life around in a way McCready still refuses to do herself.

McCready blames her latest substance abuse battle on the recent death of her boyfriend, David Wilson, the father of her second child.

Mcknight says, if McCready reforms her life someday, he'd split custody of their son with her.

"You've got to separate those two until she can get back on a solid track," he said. "I need my son back home."

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