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etyler's picture

Hello Everyone!

Well, I'll try to summarize this situation as best I can.
BM moved SD10 to Georgia with her about 4 years ago so that she could be with her middle school sweetheart. She also moved her other son, from a different dad who was only 2 at the time. Even though both dads were actively involved in both kids lives. (selfish much?)

Anyways, for 4 years now it has been progressively worse with SD10 wanting to live with us. Whenever she brings it up, we usually try to change the subject or avoid a long discussion. We have ALWAYS told her that she is welcome in our home, but she knows that her mom would have to agree to it. We also DO NOT want her to feel pressure from our end, because she feels tons from her BM. BM tells her things like "you can't leave me, i've done so much for you" "please don't move away i've worked so hard for you, i'll be so sad, i'll cry". We have already tried everything to get the mom to agree to anything. As it stands now, we have all of summer (10 weeks) and Christmas vacation. We were denied spring break because BM said that would be 'unfair'. Right

So this year, has been the worst. Numerous meltdowns, numerous talks about never going back home to her BM and SD. I can't honestly blame her, they are a bit on the crazy side. Well SD10 did not make one of her phone calls to BM one evening because she was having a meltdown saying 'please, i'll do anything, i'll tell the judge anything, call my mom and i'll tell her', crying on the floor. Well BM obviously got concerned, and texted. We just responded with "she had a rough night, she can call you tomorrow". Well.. of course, BM needs to know WHY. So we tell her, if SD10 wants to talk about it with you, she can. BM pushes and pushes and pushes, we do not cave, just ensure her that it is nothing of a safety concern, SD10 is fine. BM continues to push SD10 on skype on sunday, to the point of SD10 crying. SD10 finally agrees to write her an e-mail which she does, and we also write BM an email trying to say that we know this is a hard topic, but it is affecting our time with SD10 and we need to discuss what to do about it.

Well it's been 2 weeks, and still nothing. BM is treating SD10 completely rude on the phone and will not even bring up the email. SD10 asks almost everyday if her mom wrote back, and now she is scared to go back at the end of summer.. again, I don't blame her. I get that this is probably hard for BM to hear. However, she has done it to herself. Do we have SD10 ask about it? Do we ask about it? Do we drop it entirely?

If she still feels this way when she is 12-13 we have every intention on trying to fight for custody, but I am just at a loss. Any advice??


leslie814's picture

I agree with this, if it is just a case of the grass may be greener on the other side then you have to talk to her that there will be expectaions etc. this isn't just to escape from reality. But if there are real problems a mean SD neglect or un healthy conditions are cause for concern.

etyler's picture

She expresses a lot of reasons, but it really comes down to how her moms acts. BM is over the top, makes SD10 feel bad, always puts pressure on her, always talks bad about us. Basically BM has dug her own grave. SD10 also dislikes BM boyfriend, he is a self-absorbed jerk. She also has kids issues that I am not concerned about, like dealing with her "annoying brother". We are just different people, and I think she meshes better with our style. Dad is on the same boat as me, we both do not know how to proceed. She refuses to say anything to us about it besides "come prove why her life with me is no good". Like it's a competition or something. BM does not get any child support from us, but I'm sure that will come soon if we keep making her this mad. She LOVES games.

ChiefGrownup's picture

No CS right now? yeah, this whole thing is a land mine.

Maybe you can enroll the girl in some activity she gets really into and makes a lot of friends at. It would be a shame to take her away from that. Offer to pay the travel costs for visits to mom. I dunno, I'm just brainstorming.

ChiefGrownup's picture

Agree with the above comments. BM will not want to lose CS. Kid must not think it's Disneyland at Dad's all the time.

Having said all that, I see another problem on the horizon and that is that if she is left with mom, by the time she is 12-14, she may have reversed and come to hate dad for not "rescuing" her from a situation she felt so desperate about. She will then have no choice but to over-identify with mom and spew a double dose of revenge at dad.

I am currently dealing with a 14 year old girl and her rage at her dad is epic. Her rage is not logical, but we are all suffering from it nonetheless.

Make sure you feel the child's reasons for leaving mom are legitimate. Then try to make the idea attractive to mom, if you can. Not sure how. But avoid putting the mom on the defensive. What advantages are there to your area geographically over hers? Maybe sigh about all the free time you'll be losing...being sure to note how jealous you will be of all her new found free time. If you are clever enough, maybe you can even get mom to talk YOU into it. Any other idea you can come up with.

If you can avoid making it a bankrupting court fight, you all win. But if the girl's reasons are legitimate, there is a big risk in letting her immature brain wrongly perceive that "dad just didn't care enough," or whatever other crazy thoughts their little brains get.

kathc's picture

I hate to be negative...but keep in mind that unless there's a very good reason (like, severe abuse) that a judge is going to leave SD with BM no matter what. Also, I've seen a skid who will BEG to go live with the other parent, cry, plead, try to bargain...then after thousands are spent in court will turn around and say they want to stay where they are because the other parent makes them feel so bad that they feel like they "can't hurt her". So they end up telling the judge, "I'm fine where I am"

isthisforme123's picture

Yikes! What a tough position to be in. I would probably start by contacting a lawyer in Georgia (I'm assuming that's where the custody case would be heard) at what age the court would basically side with the child's wishes. In my state (PA) my lawyer tells me it's a gray area from age 12-14, after that the kid basically has the final say.

If the answer is that it's age 12 or whatever, I would not pursue it until that time. You're likely to stir the hornets nest with BM and she'll come after you for CS. I would tell SD, "We're so happy you want to live with us, but we don't want to pull you out of your school. When you get closer to high school let's talk about having you move in then."

Just IMHO.