Looking for a little advise

United States
July 5, 2007 3:20pm CST
My 13 year old daughter has come to stay with me for the summer. I have noticed many bad habbits and emotional issues. I also have many concerns about her home life with her father because of this and things she has revealed to me... the living conditions of their home, emotional and verbal abuse. I have also been informed of concerns her teachers at school have had. Also, she has been here for almost 2 weeks and he has not called once and everytime she calls, he is never home and does not return her calls. She has stated that she does not wish to return back to her father, but her father has custody. In the short time she has been here, she is thriving and happy. My husband and I feel she needs to be with us. I don't know what to do or how to go about it. We do not have the funds right now to start a big custody battle. Currently we are hoping her just telling her father that she doesn't want to live with him anymore will be enough. But, we also don't know when she should tell her father this.... now or when it is getting closer to when she has to leave us.
6 people like this
16 responses
• United States
6 Jul 07
i feel really bad for this girl. If her father is causing her emotional issues, she whoudl not be with him. At that age, the courts should allow the child to state who they would rather live with and why. i know you don't have the funds for a custody battle right now, but i hope you do soon. SHe can be a good witness for you if she is willing to speak out about the problems. Hoefully her father will be reasonable and realize he is not hte person that should be taking care of her and relinquish custody to you sand your new husband. Now, as far as when to tell him...i would tell him that your daughter is unhappy and wants to live with you closer to when she is supposed to go "home." If you tell him now, he might demand she goes back right away instead of finishing her visit with you. It would be better for her if you waited. Good luck and please keep us all posted.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jul 07
I too was thinking it best to wait until it is closer to the time when she must go back to her father, just for that very reason you mentioned. Thank you for your input and I will keep everyone posted as this all unfolds.
• United States
5 Jul 07
I don't know how he got custody ,but he has it. If she wants to live with you. She needs to go home when it's time to do so. Take some time to think things through. Then have a sit down with her father. There is no good going to come out of rushing this. Your daughter has told you her side of things. You have every right to be concerned. If you had custody would you want her to do that to you? You have to look at all sides of the coin all kids want a break. They also want things done when they want it to happen. Your the mother when he picks her up. Tell him in your calmest voice you 2 need a sit down with him. If at all possible go to his house to visit with her. If you want whats best for her. Don't jump up and let her stay with you because things are not perfect. Mother's have gone through that all the time. if there is abuse in the home etc. How about finding out for sure and contacting child welfare. There the first ones to get her out of there. I would hate this to be more than you know of. If he has not answered the phone it's not a crime. By all means she is on vacation with her mother. She should not be asking this of him over the phone any how. There is a meeting that needs to take place. the parents need to be parents first. Good luck to you and your daughter.
• United States
5 Jul 07
i think that you have given excellent advice. the only thing that i might add would be to have your daughter get a law gaurdian, if she doesn't already have one appointed to her. the courts will see that she gets representation. there is no guarantee that things will work out the way you or your daughter wants. good luck to you and your daughter. p.s. my wife and i just went through all of this with her 15 year old. after months of battling, we got custody. 3 months into the stay here, she decided she didn't like the rules of the house and made up a bunch of stuff to go back. we cleared up the accusations, and then let her go. the teenage years are so confusing and the grass is always greener on the other side.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jul 07
My daughter is 13 and wanted to live with her grandmother. Everyday she is emailing she missing and when am I coming to NY. We have to remember these stages in there lives are rickety. They want us to jump through hoops for them. Great parenting you have.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jul 07
How he got custody is a long story... I'll try to make it short. My daughters father got involved in crank. I was heavely involved with my church. When my daughter was 3 months old I met a man. My daughters father made it pretty clear that the crank was all he cared about. My church friends were advising me to leave, but I felt that I could help and leaving him would not. The friendship that me and this other man developed grew. I decided that I wanted more for my kids and myself (I worked a full time job and took care of my family, while my daughters father sat on his butt tweeking all the time). Years later my daughter wanted to know her father better and wanted to spend some time with him. Well, in those years he got clean and was an asset to sociaty. I gave her the choice... She lived with him for a few years and I started to get concerned about the situation so I decided to file for custody... we went to court and because her father didn't have his stuff together, the judge scheduled another hearing... well, in the middle of that I had to move to another state and couldn't make it to the proceeding... he won custody by default. On your other comment of abuse in the home... I have recently found that he has already been reported numerous times (by his own family and school) and child welfare, so far, has done nothing. I heard that they did visit his home but, he sweet talked his way out of everything they were questioning and didn't even try to go inside the home (which would have made them take the children right away). Asking her father over the phone is the only option she has, due to the fact that I live in Washington and her father lives in Oregon and I have her at the moment. She wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for her grandmother (her father's mother). I have done everything I can do as a parent... her father is the one not cooperating. Also, keep in mind that I have not had my daughter in 3 years... shouldn't he, as a father be concerned?
1 person likes this
• Switzerland
5 Jul 07
If possible, try to talk her father to let her stay here. Since he has not even called up to check on her, he might not bother much to let her stay with you. Only thing is to be sure that he does not take it as a personal or ego issue. Also, try talking to your daughter to convince her to talk to her father about it. Praying that it gets solved positively for you soon.
• United States
5 Jul 07
Thank you, Unfortunately, The last time I spoke to her father was 4 or 5 months ago. He seems to be somewhere in left field. Doesn't want to talk to me, even though there is no problems between us (or I didn't think there was). Could only go through my daughter. Which is very unfair to her! The only reason she is here with us now, is because her grandmother (her fathers mother) stepped in. My daughter wants to tell him but, she is unable to get a response back from her calls. I want to thank you for your prayers and response.
• Switzerland
5 Jul 07
Maybe you can take the help of her grand mother, or try to make your daughter talk to him in person.
@taymouse (585)
• United States
5 Jul 07
Try talking with him, and make sure he just doesn't get offended. Since he hasn't returned her calls maybe he won't care so much if your daughter does not return to him, and he will let her stay with you. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you and your family good luck!
• United States
5 Jul 07
Thank you so much for your wishes! God Bless to you and yours.
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
5 Jul 07
Usually, by the time a child turns fourteen, even though they are not emancipated, they are able to advise the court which parents they wish to live with. I think that following the path of least resistance first is a very good thing to do. Have her talk to about staying with you and see how her father takes that news. He may welcome it at this point in her life. If not, at the very least, you should consult with a lawyer about having a guardian appointed for your daughter who will carefully review the situation and make the recommendations based on their findings. I do hope that it works out that she gets to stay with you. She sounds like she needs a stable home and she is at a very fragile time in her life when stability is of the utmost importance.
• United States
5 Jul 07
Thank you, She is old enough in the state I live in (Washington) and the state her and her father live in (Oregon) for her to make that choice. You and others that have responded to my need of advice have helped in our decisions.
• United States
5 Jul 07
I don't have any advice as to WHEN to tell him, but I do want to mention that if you live in the US there should be a legal aid society near you. They work on a sliding scale, so it doesn't end up costing you a fortune. If there is abuse of ANY kind going on, and he doesn't cooperate with her living with you, you may have no choice but to start a custody battle to keep her safe from him. Words can hurt as much as fists. I know from experience. If she is willing, you may also need for her to talk to the department of human services where he lives to get them involved. Before you do anything like that though, make sure there is nothing they could hold against YOU, or you may both end up losing her. I wish you the best of luck. You are in a tough situation.
• United States
5 Jul 07
There is nothing that can be held against me. I keep a very clean, organized home. I'm a stay at home mom and my husband brings home very good money. As for legal aid... I don't qualify. We do well, but we are not rich. Our bills are paid on time every month and we make sure that we do something special with our children every weekend, due to the fact that my husband works out of town during the week. Between us we have 6 children because of our previous marriages. The other expenses are obvious... clothes, school, food, child support, etc... I know too well how words hurt as much as fists... my father was a raging alcholic that was abusive in many many ways to me and my mother. That is why I am looking for advise... I don't want my daughter to EVER experience anything like that. She is growing up so fast and needs to be/discover herself so she can be a well rounded, happy person that can lead a fulfilling life. Thank you so much for your wishes of luck.
• Pakistan
6 Jul 07
i think u r going gud and you are a good women
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
6 Jul 07
Since your daughter is 13 you may be able to handle a custody hearing without a legal representative. It would be better if you had a lawyer, but at 13 the judge will ask to speak to your daughter & her opinions will be taken into account. As far as what papers to file, the clerk at the court room will help you.
• Indonesia
6 Jul 07
i know that maybe hard to choose but u can pray to GOD to give u the best time. and i will also pray for that time :)
• United States
6 Jul 07
You should talk to her father about it right away. Honestly, I think your daughter is old enough to decide who she lives with! Just because she isn't 18 doesn't mean she doesn't know what's best for her. And right now it seems obvious you are. But you guys def. need to tell him right away! And I'm sorry you can't afford to take him to court :( That was going to be my suggestion. Is there ANYONE who can help you with this?
@birthlady (5613)
• United States
6 Jul 07
Please try not to put your daughter in the middle of this, perhaps it should not be your daughter who tells your ex-husband she wants to live with you. You can file mediation papers with a court, if you're in the USA, most states will allow a child to choose where they want to live once the child is over 12 years of age. Mediation is often better than going before a judge. Check it out through Family Court Division in your county. Good luck!
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
6 Jul 07
I would try to talk to the father about it. Maybe he will see that it would be better to have her with you. If not maybe talk to her teachers and see if you canget their support to go to the childern's aid to try to get the daughter removed from the house if it is this bad. But if nothing works, just let your daughter know how much you love her and wish you could be there for her. Good Luck and God Bless you all ;)
6 Jul 07
you should try talking to her father, if your daughter does not want to return! isn't there someone else you can talk too? i wish you well and hope it works out for the better, cant imagine what you are going through, the worst stress a mother can go through is the stress when worrying about the welfare of their children!! Good luck!
• United States
6 Jul 07
If I was you I would go for it, When I turned 13 I was able to make the choice of who I wanted to live with, but that may have only been in the state I lived in. I dont see why a judge would not listen to a 13 yr. old either way, and if you are finacially able to have her with you then she should be able to live with her mother. Girls need their Moms. Who knows maybe her Dad will be okay with her living with you. It seems to me he is trying to avoid her anyways.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
6 Jul 07
If you really want your daughter to live with you, why don't you call her father and offer to pay her child support? If Her father does not have to pay he may allow you to keep her.
@Dixie58 (18)
• United States
6 Jul 07
I wish you all the luck in the world with your delima and you know your child much better then I do but please please take a min and think before you do anything rash.. I have raised 5 children to adulthood and now have a 14 and a 13 year old granddaughter Let me assure you the bad habits and such you are seeing is most likely her way of acting out since she is not with her father ... so Like I said try and i know this is hard being her mom but try to look at both sides and be objective at least some. I think your best bet would be to talk to your daughter more and then YOU talk to her father putting the burden on her is not right. And if you are concerned with her saftey or her well being in her fathers house ? then by all means report your concerns to someone in your town or near where she lives have your concerns listened to by child welfare or someone ... As a mom your first concern should be for her safety and well being... believe me I have never known a 13 year old girl who is totaly happy there is no such animal I will say a prayer for all of you and hope you find a not dramatic conclusion to this matter