Looking for Custody Advice

  • I am looking to see if anyone can give me some advice. I am a SM to a 14 yo SD. She lives with her BM in WA. There is no custody agreement as we have always been able to agree on visitation( my husband and I get her during her summer breaks) Here is the issue. Her mother is moving from WA to AZ to be closer to her parents. Daughter doesn't want to move but has to. We are at a loss as to what to do. She can come here but is worried about her mother. Her mother has a few mental health issues, my SD is really the mother in the relationship. She is not really allowed to be a child, but the adult. We are susposed to send her to Arizonia after the summer but her mother will not be there until her house sells, which could be a short period of time or a long time, so we are sending her to her grandmother. I don't like feeling like we are giving custody of my SD to her grandmother for convience of her mother. She can stay her and has voiced she would if she didn't have to worry about her mother. There is again like I said no legal court custody or visitation plan. Should we pursue getting legal custody and keeping her with us or bow down and send her to her grandmother and eventually mother and hope she gets to be a child at some point before coming to adulthood? My husbans doesn't want to force her and let her choose but I think she is making bad decisions. I hops I explained this well. Thanks
  • First, I want to welcome you to FC Shannon. If you get a chance, pop in to the Introduce yourself thread so that others can meet you.

    Unfortunately, only your DH and his ex have any rights to this child, no matter how mentally unhealthy the mother is. Many children have to pull more than their share of the weight around the home if a parent is handicapped in some way. Children complain all the time about not wanting to stay in those environments. If you DH isn't willing to doing anything, there really isn't anything you can do. However, if you do suspect abuse or neglect, you really should turn that in to the authorities. Keep in mind that once you do, the other mother might figure out who did it. Since their is no contract, she may decide not to allow you to have her at all or on a very limited basis. I know this isn't what you want to hear, but the law won't be on your side. Even if you prove neglect or abuse, chances are the SD will stay with the mother and they will give the mother a chance to clean up her act.

    Good luck no matter what you decide!