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Old 05-20-2008, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a Momma of an 8yr old boy who (whom?) I share custody of with his dad. Without getting into all the gory details of our situation, I am hoping to get an idea about something from all of you with experience in such things.

His dad (my ex) has about ,oh, 8 overnights each month. His house only has two bedrooms. He lives with our son, his GF of 4 yrs and her 11 yr old daughter. They have my son and her daughter sharing a room. This bothers me. What do you think? Thanks in advance for your opinions and experience.

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Old 05-20-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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It would bother me some. Maybe he can sleep in the living room on the couch until they get a bigger place. Your son is still a child but the girl is too close to puberty to have to share her room with a boy.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:12 PM
 
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My DSS is 11 and my oldest DD is 12. They have been in each others lives for almost 5 years now, and are pretty close. I would not feel comfortable with them sharing a room. How does your son feel about sharing the room?

Before he had his own BR in our home, DSS slept on the hide-a-bed in the family room rather than in the same room with DD. I didn't love that arrangement, because I felt like it was sending a message to DSS that he was more of a guest vs true member of the family. DH eventually was able to convert some existing space into a 4th BR. Although we do plan to keep a desk and printer in there, so it could be used as a home office when DSS is not here.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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Can they afford a 3 bedroom place? What do you suggest, as a solution? Does it bother your son? I think that as they get older the kids will probably dislike sharing and will find some other solution.

From my perspective, I *hate* that we have to pay much higher rent in order to have a bedroom for DSD. Considering that it sits empty for months at a time. We pay full child support, plus higher shelter costs. Therefore, we can't afford to buy a place but DSD's mom has bought a new house. If we had another kid, DSD would be sharing a bedroom. There's just no other practical solution.

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Old 05-20-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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It's illegal in some states. Here kids over 8 cannot share a bedroom with a sibling of the opposite sex. A friend of mine who works at a daycare had to report it to CPS when a kid mentioned something him (8) and his sister (9) sharing a room. She didn't want to, but obviously she's a mandatory reporter so it was either that or her job and CPS get called anyways.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He could afford a bigger house, but I don't think he can sell considering the market. The situation has been like this for years off and on. My son very much does not like sharing a room with her. It's basically her room with a bunk bed that is his space. It is a very small room too.

I have brought this up before, and they had her daughter sleeping on the couch sometimes. It also seemed like they had encouraged our son to lie about it to me. I am not sure of that, but his story kept changing so i stopped asking him.

I don't want either of the kids on the couch, neither one should be made to feel like a guest. This isn't something I want to go back to court over, but they are not acknowledging this is an issue. They seem to think I am overreacting by asking them to come up with a new arrangement.

If kids are going to mess around, well, I guess whether they share a room or not they are going to do it. It's not the only issue for me. It is the whole "guest " thing, too.

I get less CS than anyone I know, I am not one to try and make him spend money. I am totally sensitive to that. I like the idea of using the room as an office / library when he is not there as that is something they need now.

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Old 05-20-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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Unless there were additional "weirdnesses" it would not bother me. My children share a room and they are 8 and 11 and opposite sex.

BTW- I don't see why a mandatory reporter would HAVE to report that with out extra circumstances. I've been one and we were required to report abuse we didn't have to report every small law violation.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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Hm, I have no experience with that since DSD has no siblings on our side. What I do know is that when she was 9-10 y.o. we all used to sleep altogether on the floor when she came over because we had only one bed, and it was too small for us. DSD didn't seem to mind, it seemed fun to her. She never complained, even though she didn't have a space of her own, but at the same time, there was no other child for her to "compete" with, or feel like she is getting the shorter end of the stick.

What is different about your situation is that there is another child involved, AND your son doesn't feel comfortable with the arrangement. I would bring it up in a non-confrontational manner to his dad one more time. Seems like everyone needs to get on the same page here. I don't know what solution can be made, but it seems that one is needed.

It's tough to afford a house with an extra bedroom. It's hard to be a kid without your own place in your parent's house. Clearly something has to change, but I have no idea what it is. I hope you and your ex can come up with something. I'm curious what will come of it. Please update if things change.

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Old 05-21-2008, 12:06 AM
 
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For me, the children in question are a bit old to be sharing a room, as they are unrelated.

Once DS is out of our bed, he and DSD will share a room, but they are much younger.

I shared a room with my brother from the ages of 12-14, but we are biologically related and lived together all of childhood (and we were very close), so that situation seems different to me than two unrelated kids (one of whom is entering puberty) sharing a room.

If another room is out of the question, then maybe they should consider a hide-a-bed/pull-out couch/futon arrangement. It seems better than forcing him to share a room with an unrelated member of the opposite sex. It sounds like they have a house - there must be some option (converting a basement or attic, maybe?).

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Old 05-21-2008, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your stories,that helps.

The attic idea is a good one. I know that the house is less than 900 sq. ft., as it's from the turn of the century. It's got a pitched roof, so there must be some kind of room there. We are west coast so basements aren't very common, but I will have to bring up the attic thing.

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Old 05-27-2008, 12:34 AM
 
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It is a FEDERAL law that kids of opposite genders CANNOT share a room after a certain age. I kept telling my sister this when they were going through the courts w/her step kids. She asked their lawyer about this and it said it was not against the law.

However, during the the trial my BIL spoke about it while on the stand and I have to tell you the judge TORE IN TO the kids bio mom for it. She said she had less than 24 hours to correct the situation or the kids would not be allowed to continue overnights w/the mom. To sum it up, my BIL's lawyer was wrong and it IS a federal statue.

Push the issue.
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *bebe View Post
It is a FEDERAL law that kids of opposite genders CANNOT share a room after a certain age. I kept telling my sister this when they were going through the courts w/her step kids. She asked their lawyer about this and it said it was not against the law.

However, during the the trial my BIL spoke about it while on the stand and I have to tell you the judge TORE IN TO the kids bio mom for it. She said she had less than 24 hours to correct the situation or the kids would not be allowed to continue overnights w/the mom. To sum it up, my BIL's lawyer was wrong and it IS a federal statue.

Push the issue.
Uhh...can you cite that?

The Federal government (in the U.S., anyway) does not concern itself with room sharing. I would think it would either fall under family law, zoning/housing/occupancy code, or both. Those matters are state/local, not federal.

I did a search of the Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Code and came up empty. Perhaps my search skills aren't up to par.

There may be *local* laws, depending on where you live. Laws concerning *foster* children may exist, too, as can restrictions in leases. There could also be a model code that your particular state has adopted.

That said...I don't think it's a great idea for unrelated opposite-sex pre-teens to share a room, regardless of legalities.

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Old 05-27-2008, 01:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *bebe View Post
It is a FEDERAL law that kids of opposite genders CANNOT share a room after a certain age. I kept telling my sister this when they were going through the courts w/her step kids. She asked their lawyer about this and it said it was not against the law.

However, during the the trial my BIL spoke about it while on the stand and I have to tell you the judge TORE IN TO the kids bio mom for it. She said she had less than 24 hours to correct the situation or the kids would not be allowed to continue overnights w/the mom. To sum it up, my BIL's lawyer was wrong and it IS a federal statue.

Push the issue.
Sorry BEBE, but there is NO federal law in regards to room sharing .
Those things differ from State to State under housing laws , I have seen in some states where it varies from city to city .

As far as the judge in you BIL cause , it could have been the judges personal opinions or the law that happened to be placed in the State or City you BIL custody case took place in..
I have seen judges yell and scream at people without any actual law broken to back up the judges rage .

I suggest the OP check with her State or even City housing regulations to see what the actual law is ..
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