Help! CC Lawyers? Manipulative divorcing friends and protecting a kid...

<p>I have a really strange dilemma. My daughter has had a wonderful friend since early childhood – they literally grew up together before her family moved out of state. This friend started out in life with some significant challenges and a diagnosis of autism. Over the years, she has matured into a fully functional, amazing young adult, even being able to attend a highly competitive college and reside there for the school year. It has been a beautiful thing to watch. She is more na</p>

<p>Maybe you should invite the daughter to live with your family for the summer IF SHE WISHES, and also provide the option of moving in with you or coming for respite breaks whenever she wishes if she chooses to live with her mother, father, or anywhere else. That way the girl can do what she thinks best, while also having the option to change her mind if she finds herself in a situation she does not want to be in.</p>

<p>Please don't tell me that you really need strangers on a message board to tell you what to do here. Your post does a great job of identifying all sorts of problems with putting yourself in the middle of this, and there are probably just as many more that you haven't thought of. Stay out of it! Do not try to referee your friends' divorce! It is fine for you to offer love and emotional support to any of them, and you have already let the daughter know that she can treat your house as her own if she wants to. That's great; now try to butt out completely.</p>

<p>I would take the mother and father of the girl out of the mix and do what you think is best for her, despite the parents motives. It sounds like she could use a nice stable environment, and I applaud you for even considering helping her have a soft place to land from what sounds to be a battleground.</p>

<p>JHS - </p>

<p>I have no friendship with the parents other than a cordial relationship because of our kids. You must have misread the post, as I have in no way involved myself in anyone's divorce other than answering the phone when it rang. The point is whether or not a young adult could be manipulated into losing a permanent residence with my home and family used in the process. I have no opinion or care concerning what the parents do otherwise. I have a decision to make and that is whether or not to have this young woman live in my home. The issues are what is best for her emotionally and legally. </p>

<p>If you do not believe in people coming to a message board for input, then perhaps you should not post a response.</p>

<p>To everyone -</p>

<p>I have actually already extended the invitation and she knows our door is always open. It always will be. I am still wondering if this young person could, by moving out, lose financial support and a permanent place to live.</p>

<p>I pretty much agree with what JHS said. I understand that you don't want to be in the middle and I understand your concern about the legal residence issues for the girl. I would think she should NOT (nor should you) commit to your home being her official "residence". She is welcome to treat your house as a landing pad, but the parents should be told that one or the other has to provide a place for her to call "home". That will hold their feet to the fire and no rights will be lost.</p>

<p>*He told us that his wife has a significant problem with alcohol, and that the family home is no longer an emotionally or psychologically safe place for the daughter to reside when home from college. *</p>

<p>Do you know this to be fact? It's possible the father is exagerating in order to rationalize his own behavior.</p>

<p>MomofWIldChild:

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but the parents should be told that one or the other has to provide a place for her to call "home". That will hold their feet to the fire and no rights will be lost.

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</p>

<p>Why do you always rock so much? This is exactly what I was looking for. Perfect. Thank you!</p>

<p>emeraldkity -</p>

<p>I really do not know. I think there is some issue, but enough of one to justify a nineteen year old having to leave the residence? No clue. The daughter herself thinks she is fine there.</p>

<p>spideygirl, although it may not be an obvious response, you may wish to help this young lady get her own attorney to protect her rights in this divorce. The attorney could then determine what's going on and advocate for her. And can keep the father in line!</p>

<p>Do both parents live in the same area? Is the bizarre dad worried that by being nearby, the daughter will find out what is going on w/the girlfriend?</p>

<p>MOWC is right, but that isn't for you to be "saying" to the parents, at least not out loud. Chedva is also right -- the girl could probably use a lawyer of her own, although that can actually backfire, too.</p>

<p>I strongly believe that the best course is to stay as far away from this as you can. I don't mean to slam your door in the daughter's face if she shows up one night. Welcome her in, treat her like the friend she is. But stop trying to research the legal strategies, do not discuss the daughter's residence with the father, or the mother's alcohol problems, or anything else. Don't obsess about whether the mother may "re-label" the daughter. Don't try to decide who's right and who's wrong. The courts have way more resources than you do for performing that function, and they don't do a good job of it, either.</p>

<p>You can be right and you can be wrong here at the same time. Sure, maybe the father is trying to get the daughter out of the house so he can force its sale. But what is your confidence level that that wouldn't ultimately be best for the daughter? 100%? Surely not. What if the mother really is in bad shape? What if she worsens? What if the tradeoff is between using the same amount of dad's money to pay for the house or to pay for college? What if the alternative is a year or two of constant battles and uncertainty? I'm not saying that your instincts are wrong; I'm saying that you can't possibly have a high degree of confidence that they are right.</p>

<p>Stay out of it.</p>

<p>As I understand it, you think this young woman, because of her autism, might not be able to live independently after college, unlike a neurotypical college student who could be expected to be an independent adult after she graduates ? And you think her father may be trying to use you to manipulate the court, by making it look like your young friend won't need parental support after graduation?</p>

<p>If this is true, you can't stay out of it. You're already in it. I like the idea of a quick talk with a family practice lawyer familiar with custody issues for adult children with disabilities. That's a specific area of law; the court might not be as knowledgeable as one might wish.</p>

<p>That's about 180 degrees from what the initial post said. And if it were true the OP should still stay out of it.</p>

<p>The father is asking you for too much and it sounds like you already have enough on your plate. With your own daughter not living at home the arrangement doesn't even make that much sense anyway. This family needs to find their way through this, short of shipping off their daughter to live with someone else.</p>

<p>Does the daughter know that the dad is pressuring you two? If I were the daughter, that would tick me off and prompt me to consider his motives.</p>

<p>A minor child would be appointed a guardian ad litem; perhaps as a disabled adult she should have the same legal mechanism advocating for her. I think a consult with an attorney for her would be wise, just so her rights are protected.</p>

<p>You're being used by the father. He's handing off his responsibilities onto you. </p>

<p>I agree with providing emotional support to the girl if she wants to come to your home and visit or spend a night. I wouldn't allow her to move into your home.</p>

<p>Step back and don't get any more involved. This is up to the family to work out. Don't let them use you anymore. I actually feel as though it is rather "crappy" for the father to pass his obligation onto you. Don't get sucked into their drama.</p>

<p>As I understand it, spidey is perfectly happy to have her young friend visit for the summer, but, commendably, wants to make sure that the young woman's legal rights are protected. Sounds like this young woman is lucky to have spidey and her family as a "second family."</p>

<p>
[quote]
If I were the daughter, that would tick me off and prompt me to consider his motives.

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If you were the daughter, you would have autism and would not be very good at considering other people's motives. You might be much more inclined to take people's statements at face value.</p>