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Do I try to gain custody of our niece or leave it alone?

Little bil died in August and he left 2 girls, 12 and 17. They both came to live with my in-laws down the road from us. The younger one left because she missed her mom (who's a pill-popping mess right now) and went back home. Much to my dismay.
The 17 y/o is still here but having a really hard time at my in-laws. My mil (step!!!) never had children and has recently been going through the change or something but has turned into a major b. Even getting physical with my fil, who just sits there and takes it.
My mil and I DO NOT get along for anything (our history, she tried to hit me while I nursed my 5 week preemie...I HATE her. Strong words but she is just evil!!!) and now she won't let her come down here or do anything because they caught our niece lying about where she was. The b. has grounded her for 3 months and won't even let her go to church.
My take is that she wouldn't have to lie if they wouldn't give her so much flack. Yesterday the b. got mad because niece was wearing a jacket her boyfriend gave her...SO!!! She is really a very negative person and niece has told me she cries every night. She really needs a positive place to work through her stuff about her dad. And also becoming a woman. It's a lot for her right now and she needs family to support her and love her.
She wants to come live with us. Her mom told her she doesn't care if she's not's her fault and she can deal with it (that is just beyond my scope of being a compassionate mama).

My I try to get custody of her, try to get her emancipated (she could always live with us even though she should get ss from her dad) or something else? I can't turn my back and her and I want to really champion for her! She is a good girl who wants to go into the Air Force after she graduates. I don't want to see her spirit crushed and stepped on by the people who are supposed to support and build her up. And this is a family where you kiss butt, crap talk behind your back, never talk about anything...I don't fit in;O)
O-and I have no problem with being a b. if it means our niece is heard.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:40 AM on Mar. 9, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (8)
  • I think she needs to seek emancipation.

    Answer by amybaby_19 at 9:43 AM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • That's what I was thinking. She just doesn't want to be homeless and I told her she would always have a home, food and all the support she needs.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:45 AM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • At her age, emancipation.  Custody I think  would take longer and  be more involved.  I have no idea how to even go about that though.  My own niece looked into it, I will ask her if she can at least point you in the right direction.

    Goodluck, and GOOD FOR YOU for taking care of her and speaking out!


    Answer by CookieMom108 at 9:52 AM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • I am 25 years old and at 23 I was granted FULL CUSTODY through the courts of my 15 year old cousin. I was absolutely SHOCKED at how easy it was to get her! It was almost like they would do ANYTHING to get her off of their hands. It was pretty hard quite a few times but I just told her that even if it doesnt work between us then atleast she knew that I loved her and that I tried and didnt turn my back. She was such a big help at times, and a royal pain in others but what I noticed in her is that she put on this face like everything was OKAY but she had a lot of growing yet to do b/c her mom was the same way as you spoke. I would be scared to have her be emancipated. I would love to hear that she could rely on the love that you could give her but I also understand that it is truly hard. Have you talked to her extensively about this?

    Answer by familynsni at 10:07 AM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • We have talked about it...well through texts as she isn't allowed over here.

    I understand she is a teen and things will/could get tough but she does have a level head and really, that side of the family is sooooo screwed up that I don't want her to have to struggle so much for her dreams and possibly just forget about them. There isn't much more then drugs, jail and no college on that side.

    The in-laws are just going to send her home, where her mom is pilled out and living in self-destructive pity. And teens are can't boss them around and you have to listen and take into account that they are learning to be adults.

    I think I will see what it takes to get her emancipated. She will go into the military in the beginning of next year as she is to graduate in December.

    UGGGGG-it just makes me so made at how selfish this family is being. Not caring about anyone but makes me sick!

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:26 AM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • Seventeen and how many months? There odds are, as much as it may be hard on her, the best thing for your niece to do is sit tight for a couple of months. Then when she turns eighteen get the heck out. Emancipation isn't easy to accomplish, and changing custody is even harder. If she's only a few months from being of legal age there's a great chance that will come long before any court issue is resolved.

    Answer by desert_diva at 10:28 AM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • She just turned 17

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:38 AM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • You can get guradianship within a couple of weeks. Emancipation will take a lot longer. Go to the family courts and get the paperwork to get guardianship of her. She needs to be with you, not the crazy MIL.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:13 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

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