How do I tell my husband that I don't want us to have custody of his daughter?
Looking for advice. My husband and I have been married for only 16 months. We were friends for several years prior to getting married. My 12 year old daughter and his 10 year old daughter were best friends back then and are now step-sisters. I also have a 5 year old son from my previous marriage and we now a new baby boy together. I have joint custody with my ex who lives in another state. My two kids live with us during the school year and visit him via airplane on school breaks and summer vacation unless he is working or has military obligations. My ex is very easy going and since we both make good money neither of us pays the other child support, we just care for the kids when they are with us and take turns paying for plane tickets. My husband has an entirely different relationship with his ex. They have joint custody, she has primary residential and he has scheduled visitation. Last year (the week we got married) his ex called in false physical/emotional abuse claims against my husband. When the Department of Child Services investigated they found the claims to be “unfounded.” A week later she hid his daughter from him during visitation and made a second false claim of sexual abuse, only this time she manipulated his daughter into lying. After a forensic interview they thankfully ruled that the 10 year old was being coached by her mother and no actual charges were ever brought against my husband. During this time his ex threatened him and told him that he would never she his daughter again. Because of all this we hired a new attorney and filed for a change in custody. At the time I just wanted to support my new husband who was scared of losing his kid forever and afraid of people actually believing the horrible false allegations that his ex was spreading around town. Now, as our court date draws near, I am the one who is afraid. I’m afraid we may actually win and I don’t want custody. Before we were married I had a pretty good relationship with his daughter, however I find it very difficult to trust her since she lied about her father abusing her and continues to defend her mother on any and every topic. She keeps telling my husband that she wants to come live with us but is too “scared” to tell her mom that she feels that way. My instincts tell me that she is lying to him to try to make him happy but that she really has no intention of leaving her mother to come live with us if given a choice. There she is a spoiled only child with no responsibilities, while here all of the kids are expected to do chores and be respectful. Her mother has made it no secret that she hates me since I first started dating my husband two years ago and she continues to tell lies about us to his daughter. Another reason that I don’t want custody is that it would force us to remain living here for 8 more years until she is an adult. My husband knows that the only reason I moved here was to get my degree, and now that I am done I want to move back home (other side of country) close to my family and my kid’s dad. He promised me that we would as soon as we could afford to, but then the custody stuff happened and now he still acts like we are only going to be here for “ another year or so” but I know better, because if we have primary custody her mother and the courts would never allow us to move back home and take her that far away from her “poor” mother (who does not work and lives off the state and child support, and my husband has to pay her house payment unless she remarries). My kids adore my husband. They have a good relationship with their biological dad too, but they respect their step-dad and enjoy our blended family life. Of course they also want to live closer to their dad and their grandparents, cousins, etc. My husband has very few ties to the area other than his daughter, both of his parents live in other states too. I know that if it was not for her being here we would have moved over a year ago. I love him very much and he and I have a good relationship with open communication , he is a very level-headed and understanding person, but I’m scared to let him know how I feel about this one thing. I wouldn’t want him to make me chose between him and my kids, so I can’t ask him to choose to the rest of the family over his daughter. I start crying every time I even think of being forced to live here for eight more years, but what can I possibly do?