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I think this is the right place for this, if not, I'm sorry and feel free to move.<br><br>
I am lying awake thinking of this and I need to get it off of my chest and get some advice.<br><br>
I'll try to be as brief as possible and then ask my questions, so bear with me please...<br><br>
My 24 year old cousin and her dh have asked my dh and me to be guardians of their children if they were to both die (FTR, it's not likely BUT my cousin has health issues that her drs tell her make her extremely high risk for ovarian cancer and her dh is a police detective who works in the drug unit-w/e you call that). My dh and I are more than willing to do this bc we are close to the 3 girls (ages 2 1/2, 4, and 8 yrs old) and would do w/e it took to love and protect them if they lost both their parents (as unlikely as that may be).<br><br>
Now, here's the hard part: 3 yrs ago my cousin told me that she was molested by her stepfather from the age of 13-14 yrs old, (I was the first one she told outright but she thought I already knew) and that when she finally told her mother who confronted the stepfather, he admitted it. BUT, my aunt swept it under the rug and told a lot of lies to make my cousin believe that everyone in the family knew but didn't care. She put my cousin on unRx depression meds and kept the stepfather in the house and is still currently married to him (and has a 20 yr old bio daughter w/him who recently found out about the abuse from her sis and says she was never abused herself).<br><br>
So now a few people in the family know about the sexual abuse (including my parents, and my mom is like a second mother to my cousin at this pt) but my aunt doesn't know that we all know and my cousin wants to keep it hush for fear of hurting my gma who is in her 70s (who raised my cousin from baby until my aunt married my uncle [the abuser] and took her back at the age of 4).<br><br>
Confused yet?<br><br>
My cousin still has a relationship w/her mom and step dad but is adament that she does not let any of her girls spend the night at the gparents house unsupervised. But she considers her 20 yr old sister who also lives there to be adequate supervision. She is trying to protect them but I'm afraid it's not good enough. I have talked to her about having no contact but she's not strong enough to do that bc her mother is manipulative and a liar, plus she's afraid of how she will explain that to our gma (I also think that she may blame herself for the abuse in some way and really truly believe that she is/will be the only victim).<br><br>
So the thought occurred to me tonight that if, and I know it's a long shot, dh and I were to have to raise her girls, we would need something in the will that specifies no unsupervised visits w/her parents (or something) and the reason (the sexual abuse) so that if they were to sue for gparents rights (and they could probably win bc both the parents were dead and it seemed like I was keeping the children away from them) we would have something on record, signed by the girls' mother stating that she was indeed sexually abused and absolutely does not want her stepfather and mother to have access to the children. Am I on the right track?<br><br>
Plus, it also just occurred to me that everyone in the family who knows about the abuse (just a handful) assume that she was the only victim, but isn't it unlikely that this is the case? I feel like it's not my place to tell, however I am concerned about other possible victims in the future, esp my cousin's 3 girls bc I don't know if she is really diligent about not leaving them unsupervised w/the abuser. Plus, I feel that her allowing the girls to have a gpa relationship w/him could be like allowing the grooming for potential future abuse.<br><br>
IDK, I feel stuck btw honoring my cousin's wishes as she works through her own abuse (she is in counseling) and trying to protect any children that my uncle has access to (as far as I know he doesn't have access to any children besides my cousin's 3 girls and that is supposed to be supervised).<br><br>
I guess this is stuck in my mind right now bc of my cousin's request about the guardianship and bc I just found out that my aunt and uncle are having a mothers day bbq at their house and my own mom even encouraged me to go (she feels stuck too and is trying to support my cousin, if she cut contact w/her sis and her bil then that would have to be explained to my gma and would cause a big family drama that my cousin has expressly stated she does not want to happen). I will not go bc I do not want my children anywhere near my uncle (my aunt's pretty hateful so I avoid her too) and bc I don't think we should all be pretending.<br><br>
Advice please? I need answers and insight about the whole thing but specifically about the will and guardianship situation. (FTR, there is no one else in the family who my cousin would trust w/her kids as everyone else is completely dysfunctional or older in age). Thank you! Sorry so long too!
 

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I don't really have any advice, especially if no one is willing to make a stand.<br><br>
I just think that if your cousin were to die and you took her children, having some sort of written document about her not wanting her children to have contact with this uncle (if I am getting this all correct) would not be valid in a court contested case if she, herself, allowed contact when she was alive.<br><br>
But, if you were their guardian, and you officially adopted them, I would think you could allow visits or not allow visits as you saw fit.<br><br>
But then again, I am no expert in this sort of thing. It is just a sad situation all the way around.<br><br>
And coming from a family with this type of history, I don't think it is likely that there is only one victim. It would be very unusual for such a thing to happen.
 

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I can only tell you what our attorney advised us (which is only applicable for our state, but is not bad advice).<br><br>
Our wills specify that our child(ren) is to go to a non-family member. However, ultimately it is up to the judge to award guardianship, and if our families were to contest the wills, the judge may very easily overturn our choice. Our lawyer advised us that we needed to include in the paperwork (don't know if it was in the will itself or in attached paperwork) something detailing WHY we did not want our child(ren) to go to family. It doesn't have to be explicit, but it does have to demonstrate to the judge that these people have been considered and rejected for X reason (for both of us it was physical/emotional abuse). Even so, we have advised our guardian-elect that she may be facing a court battle, and she has vowed to fight that battle if need be.
 
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