Custody question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-12-2017, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Custody question

So I've got a question about custody/guardianship. My husband has a daughter who is 12 and lives with her grandma-his ex's mother. Long story short, husband was deployed when daughter was young and the wife at time could no longer care for daughter. She went to live with grandmother. The daughter had lots of anxiety and issues from the situation and was seeing a counselor. When my husband got back from overseas, counselor said it would be best for daughter to stay with grandmother because they were working through the emotional issues/anxiety and it would be best not to make another big change. Grandmother was given guardianship, but my husband was still around and saw her regularly. He got an assignment to get stationed overseas for 3 years (where we met and dated, got married, had a kid, etc). Throughout the 3 years we were there and together, he saw her a handful of times. Fast forward 3 years, we move back to be close to daughter who is still living with grandmother and not seeing mother often. When we first got back she was with us every weekend. Then it increased and we started getting her some time during the week also-when grandmother had plans and needed us to keep her. We got to a point where we had her 2 full weeks every 2 weeks. Then grandmother gets married and the 2 week plan just poof-goes away. we are supposed to have her at a minimum every other weekend, but we'd like to have her around all the time- or at least a lot more than she is! My husband still pays child support to the grandmother-600$ a month! (The ex pays nothing) So-my 1st question is...does anyone else think 600/month is a little steep for a 12 year old? and #2-We would really like for her to live with us but everything I understand and hav eread about guardianship/custody issues says that at 12, the child has a big say in where they'd like to live. I don't want to burn bridges with her grandmother, because shes great and treats our other 2 children like her own grandchildren as well. I think if we were to try to get custody back she would be extremely mad and also I'm 100% certain his daughter would choose to stay with her because she has a cat there that she's said she would miss if she lived with us, and she said she'd miss her friends. We don't even get her on the weekends we're supposed to anymore. Since she's gotten married she makes plans for them all on weekends she's supposed to be with us. And on the other weekends she's now with her mom who has become a part of the picture again in the last year. Seems like we only have her when it's convenient, and it's a little frustrating but I'm just not sure how to approach the topic or what is the 'right' thing to do. Any advice?
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#2 of 4 Old 08-13-2017, 02:19 AM
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$600 doesn't seem like too much to me. When you consider food, clothes, school expenses, extra activities, her share of household expenses...

In terms of visiting, if you have a good relationship with grandma, are you all able to sit down one day and tell her that you would like more time with DSD and talk about how that could happen? A 12yo is probably going to want to spend time with friends on the weekends but could she not do that from your house as well? Or maybe you could have her for part of the weekend and part of the week - Sunday to Wednesday or something. It may require everyone to be a bit more creative but, if everyone is on good terms, then I'm sure you can work something out :-)

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#3 of 4 Old 08-13-2017, 03:17 PM
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$600 is not nearly enough to support a child.

Hypothetically, if it was just one adult and one child living in a two bedroom home with $800/mo rent, $150/mo electric bill, and $50/mo internet (a necessity for a middle-schooler these days), it would be fair to say the child's portion was 50%, which would leave only $100 for her food for the month.

It is different when the custodial adult is one of the parents because the parent has a natural obligation to provide support. A grandparent does not have a natural obligation to provide support and if one of the parents isn't paying their share, the other parent must.

I hope that your dh is stepping up and paying for anything extra his dd needs in addition to the child support.

If there is already an existing court order allowing visitation, get a lawyer and file a motion for contempt. If the visitation is not already in writing, get a lawyer and make it so. It does sound like at this time the child should be living with her dad, even if that needs to be accomplished gradually. Best wishes in making that happen!

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#4 of 4 Old 08-20-2017, 02:19 PM
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that child support sounds reasonable to me. I would suggest that this is your husbands issue to deal with. He needs to set boundaries about Grandma respecting his parenting time and not making plans for his daughter.

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