Join Date: May 2005
Location: On the road to find out
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My stepdaughter Maddy has Down syndrome and she'll be turning 18 next May. Her dad, my DH, and her mom, his ex-wife, get along fairly well at this point. (Their other two children are no longer minors.)
They attended a conference on guardianship and have to start making decisions soon. Maddy lives with her mother most of the time -- she's here every other weekend or less. And DH is still paying child support for her, which will end when Maddy turns 19. They're planning on keeping her in high school as long as legally possible, which I believe is up to age 21.
The issues are 1) who should get guardianship? and 2) who should be accountable for/control Maddy's money?
Right now they have joint custody -- joint decision-making over all important decisions. Also, Maddy and her mom live about 50 minutes away.
So, of course Maddy is DH's daughter and he wants to be involved in her life. However, his ex-wife, while not dangerous or a bad person, is terrible with money and kind of flighty and irresponsible, and he's been dealing with that behavior for the past 14 years. So the idea of being tied to her forever is pretty unappealing.
We know that Maddy would be cared for even if DH did not have some say in how her money is spent; however, we'd hate for Maddy's mom to fritter it away or use it for herself. OTOH, if Maddy is going to be living with the ex-wife (they're going to get her on lists for group homes, but it may be years before that could happen), she is the one who will need money to help pay for Maddy living there.
How would you handle this? Has anyone been in this kind of situation?
(x-posted in Special Needs Parenting)
Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.