Forced custody?

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Latest post Tue, Apr 24 2007 11:13 PM by Chandla. 8 replies.
  • Mon, Apr 23 2007 2:16 PM

    • Chandla
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    • Joined on Mon, Apr 23 2007
    • Posts 26

    Forced custody?

    My first post here and I'll try and make this brief.

    We had custody of my SSs for several years. 3 years ago, the BM wanted custody back and move to Florida so she convinced the younger SS (aged 12 at the time) to tell some VERY horrific lies about me. He admitted to my husband and I that they were lies but he "wanted to move to Florida. Mom said we could go to DisneyWorld every weekend". The BM was granted custody and disappeared. We hired private investigators and finally found them.

    The oldest SS told us they had been told that their Dad and I "don't love you anymore. If they loved you, wouldn't they be calling you and sending stuff?" We tried to contact them continually, but she would move when we found her and she returned...unopened...all cards and gifts.

    Fast forward to today. Oldest SS lives with us again since January. We have sole custody of him and the BM retained sole custody of the youngest. The BM has had NOTHING but trouble with the youngest. Kicked out of school for drinking at age 13, fights non stop, steals, cheats, sneaks out at night and is verbally/physically abusive to his half siblings and his mother.

    She called on Friday and notified us that she's moving back here becase she "needs help with that little b*stard". She told my husband that we may HAVE to take him because she can't handle him anymore.

    I told my husband not just no, but H*LL no. I still have kids in our home and I do NOT want them influenced by him and his behaviors.

    My question is this....IF the BM refuses to keep the youngest SS, are we REQUIRED to take him? What if we say no? CAN we say no? The damage he did to our family is immense and my children hate him for attempting to destroy me to get to Disneyworld. I cannot have that kid in my house EVER again. It would destroy my children. And I'm not up to it, either.

    Does anyone know the law on this type of thing?
  • Mon, Apr 23 2007 3:30 PM In reply to

    Note [#=#] re: Forced custody?

    I am not an expert - but sounds like before the legalities, the younger son is having issues. Perhaps with abondonment physically/emotionally by dad, emotionally by mom.

    Has anyone tried seeking counseling for this child? Seems that if I were in his shoes maybe I would feel like both my parents and step mom were "throwing"me away.

    He is just very young to be having the problems he has and sounds like he may need someone to step in and help this kid out.
  • Mon, Apr 23 2007 3:32 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 3 2000
    • CA
    • Posts 28,248

    re: Forced custody?

    If she has legal custody only a court order will require your husband to accept custody - just as only a court order could have forced him to give her custody.

    SO if he wants to go into court and argue to a judge that he doesn;t want his child because the mother is such a rotten mother he no longer wants to care for the child, I guess he can make that arguement.

    It's just too bad no one seems to be concerned about what is best for the child.
  • Mon, Apr 23 2007 4:18 PM In reply to

    re: Forced custody?

    I can't help you legally but I just wanted to say I dare not judge you. I am a Stepmom and have been through similar situations. What is BEST for the child is to have a BM that loves him and a BM that acts like an adult. When there is a situation where they go back and forth based on what is seems fun for them at the time it is such a lose lose deal. I commend you for admitting that you cannot take him on or allow him to upset your entire household. People don't understand sometimes that a "child" of his age can go through all the counseling in the world without making any difference. A child that age that has been taught to manipulate, lie, cheat, etc can ruin everyone's life around them. Until you've slept with your own bedroom door locked at night, hidden your purse in your own home, worried about the lives of your pets - you can't judge. In our case the BM wanted the money so she just let him go live with a friend. We hated the whole deal - it is heartbreaking and exhausting but nobody knows your situation but you. I wish you the best.
  • Mon, Apr 23 2007 6:14 PM In reply to

    • CJ
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Aug 2 1999
    • CA
    • Posts 1,721

    re: Forced custody?

    It's not fare for mom to create the little monsters by bad parenting and expect dad and his new wife to take him in with open arms. They have children on their own to worry about and a marriage to keep in tacked.

    Sounds like this kiddo needs some tough love and could benefit from an away camp for kiddo's with issues such as he's shown.

    One of my best friends just went through this exact same thing with her two step sons. She too has two small daughter and these boys almost ruined her marriage and were so disruptive for her daugters that they are both in conceling due to the stress their brothers brought into the home.

    Currently one is 23 and in the military and doing great and the other was kicked out at 18 and has been in jail twice in the last 3 months. Mom screwed them up and sent them away. So sad.
  • Mon, Apr 23 2007 6:22 PM In reply to

    • Chandla
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    • Joined on Mon, Apr 23 2007
    • Posts 26

    re: Forced custody?

    Thanks to everyone for their responses. And thank you for not judging us harshly. In a brief post, as you all know, it's impossible to list 11 years of problems, grief, legalities and issues.

    It's not that my husband and I abandoned him. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the first 2 3/4 years, we spent in excess of 10K trying to find them. We flew down to Florida twice when the PIs found them, only to have her flee before we got there.

    And yes...there has been counseling for him. According to his Mother and the counselor (she signed a release to allow us access), he goes and sits...refuses to even say "Hello" to the counselor. Silence and a smirk is what the counselor said. He's been to private counselors, school counselors, court ordered counselors, etc. He has Parole Officers involved as well.

    We told my younger SS...initially...that we wanted him to come home with the oldest. The problem? Youngest SS KNOWS his Mother is a marshmallow and he can do whatever he wants and she can't/won't stop him (claims she has fibromyalgia and is "just too weak"...ya, right) and that we would NEVER tolerate the crap he pulls. So, he has said he doesn't even want to see us right now. His Mother has been using us as a threat...."Straighten up or I'm sending you to live with your Dad, and you KNOW they'll kick your azz"...stuff like that.

    I want him to get help. I don't want to see him throw his life away. And I'll help in anyway I can...short of allowing him to live in our home and destroy our younger children and ruin our marriage.

    Thanks again. I appreciate the feedback.
  • Mon, Apr 23 2007 8:49 PM In reply to

    Note [#=#] to Chandla

    I hope the responses you're receiving are helpful.

    When you registered on this site, you agreed to post in keeping with its Rules, which prohibit foul language. Replacing a lettter in a word or replacing "ss" with "zz" makes it no more acceptable. Please don't use that kind of language on this site, even if you're quoting; we want messages to be comfortable for everyone to read.


    Community Moderator
  • Tue, Apr 24 2007 4:38 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Forced custody?

    No one can force you, as the stepmother, to accept custody.

    However, if BM is deemed unfit to have ongoing custody for any legal reason, custody likely would revert back to bioDad, who is your husband. Looks like you may need to plan for that possibility.

    Does the child have to come back to your household? No. You could place him in some kind of residential treatment center for troubled youth, but that could be a financially expensive option. If he has been in as much trouble as you state, you might get some assistance with this option from the state or school district or county.

    It seems to me that you and your husband should start researching options BEFORE he lands on your doorstep (when, of course, you will be operating in a crisis mode hardly conducive to clear thinking on such an important matter). Check out community resources and programs. Educate yourself on the possibilities and costs. See if you can locate parents who have had similar problems and find out what they know about community resources that may be available to you and how they paid for them. Talk to someone in your local school district about your concerns. Local school districts generally are unwilling to pay for residential placements unless you can make a convincing case for it. Since he is not currently a student in your district, you may be able to get some "off the record" useful info, especially if you phrase it as what should the current school district be considering (which will seem a lot less financially threatening to your school district)?

    Incidentally, you will see lots of ads for some of these places on websites devoted to parents of troubled teens. You need to do your due dilegence here. A snazzy website is no guarentee of a quality program.
  • Tue, Apr 24 2007 11:13 PM In reply to

    • Chandla
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 23 2007
    • Posts 26

    re: Forced custody?

    Thanks Hearst 86. We are, indeed, beginning to do research on our situation in an effort to calmly and rationally educate ourselves on our options.

    Only time will tell what's going to happen with all of this. I think it's probably time we spoke with an attorney to get the legal information as it pertains to our state laid out for us so that we ARE fully prepared for any contingency.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom.
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