03-06-2022 07:04 AM
Hi everyone. I am trying to get some opinions on a unique situation.
Almost 4 years ago my parents co-signed on a house with me so I could have a place to live with my joint custody children. Due to a lengthy and difficult divorce, IU was left with little to no savings and not great credit. My relationship with my parents has never been rocky or overly difficult.
About 2 years ago, my fathers drinking coupled with my mothers declining mental health came to a boil in their home. Due to their own issues, I was used as as cape-goat. My father wrote me lengthy email cursing at me and telling me to stop talking about life with my mother because it upsets her so much and he doesn't want to deal with it. I was shocked. Fast forward a few months, he said he wanted to move past that and start fresh. I agreed happily. One week later he called me furious again because I didn't include them in a late night song of 'happy birthday' with a cake for my daughter, even though they were coming over the next day to celebrate with us. Well, I haven't spoken to them since.
Personally, I consider the behavior a petty problem and just kept doing my own thing with my fiance and step daughter and my own kids. I still let my ex wife make arrangements with my parents on her weekends as they wanted.
Moving forward to this week. It turns out my ex wife is starting to be less flexible with her parenting weekends. So my parents are getting desperate to find a way to see my kids. I have always offered that they simply need to call or text me and ask, but they refuse. So, my father emailed me and gave me an ultimatum, either give them every 4th weekend of mine and give them one of my four weeks of summer vacation, or they will sell me house from under me and my family. Again, I was beyond shocked.
Conclusion, I know he will need to take me to court to sell, as my name is on the home deed. I have been applying the mortgage and all household bills since the purchase. I am completely financially stable currently, with the exception of missing my savings and building credit still. I know they have no rights to my children. However, with this financial abuse and threats of displacing me and my family, with no regard for my children at all, simply to control; I find myself reluctant to allow them alone with my children for fear of what the next level they will go to is. Can I ask a court to prevent my parents from seeing my children without my expressed approval and supervision, even as far as my ex wife is concerned? Are grandparents held liable for violating the childrens bill of rights? I do not feel comfortable just moving out (cant afford that right now) and hoping my parents dont take me to court and get my kids from my ex wife. I want a legal boundary created that prevents them with interfering with my family.
Also to be clear, I do not want to give one of my summer weeks to my parents. By holding my families house over my head in an attempt to coerce or even blackmail me into giving up one of my weeks, I feel this is forcing me to do something against my will.
Any discussion questions and opinions are appreciated. Thank you.
03-06-2022 10:15 AM
Hello @mabCOLONEL I’m sorry to hear about what you have been going through. It sounds like things have been really tough for you lately. It really sucks to hear that you feel like your parents have been using you as a scape goat and that they have given you an ultimatum for them to see your children more.
I can understand why you felt shocked when your parents said that they would sell the house if you did not let them see your children as it sounds like a big decision. I think you have thought through this and have made some good moves to protect yourself and your family. Do you think it might also be helpful to speak to a lawyer or a legal aid service to get some more support or advice? Unfortunately, we are an Australian service so our local options would not be suitable. However, I have found a website that lists some free and low cost legal help services that you might be able to use if you are interested. They may be able to help by answering some of your questions that you had about asking the court to prevent your parents from having visits.
It sounds like things are tough right now, so I was just wondering if you have anyone that you feel comfortable talking to about what you have been going through? I have also found this website that lists various helplines available in the USA that looks like it could be useful if you are interested in talking with a counsellor about what you have been going through.
I also just wanted to let you know that I will be sending you an email shortly, so please keep an eye out for that .
03-06-2022 11:21 AM
Hello, Thank you very much for getting back to me. I did not realize that I had found an Australian forum, but really appreciate the effort in helping me with some resources. to clarify my concerns about my children. I am not concerned for their physical safety, I am just worried about my parents seeming to have no limits at this point. They might say some bad things or berate either myself or even my ex wife. Additionally, as they are currently safe and sound with me, and there are not plans for them to see my parents in the near future, I have time to weigh my options and respond to the situation in a rational way that is in the best interest of my entire family. I can also say that my fiancé who lives with me is a constant support for me and always prepared to listen, advise and protect me. As far as my online investigations and research goes, it is more of legal applications and what may or may not effect my decision making process in that way.
Thank you again for replying and following up with me.
03-06-2022 03:53 PM
@mabCOLONEL I am glad to hear that you and your children are safe and that you feel that you are able to take action to help keep them safe and happy. Feeling that you have some time to weigh your options out and make a rational decision on how to respond must be relieving. It is great that your fiancé is a great support to you and that she is ready to listen and protect you. Sounds like you have a very supportive and considerate relationship together. I hope that you are able to find some helpful legal advice or support that can help your future decision making.
You are also more than welcome to continue posting on the forums for support, I just wanted to let you know that we are based in Australia which is why we are unable to provide local resources that might be of help. Hopefully some of our other community members can jump in soon and offer some additional advice and support .