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  1. #1
    tsteckler is offline Junior Member
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    Custodial parent terminally ill

    What is the name of your state? Indiana

    My husbands ex-wife has been hospitalized for over a month and suffering from terminal cancer for over a year. During this time she has failed to notify us when she was absent from the home and the children 15 and 18 were left alone in a horrid area with no money, food, supervision or transportation for the yongest boy. This last time they were told to go to my husbands parents at 9 o'clock at night after she was admitted and had been in the hospital for two days. They aked his parents if they could stay a few days which quickly turned into three weeks before we insisted the youngest boy move to our home 50 miles notrth of where they had lived.
    He was forced to leave his school the last two week of the year since she refused to place any one in the home so he could finsih the school year. My husbands parents are elderly and could not continue to allow the boys to live there. My question is this...the 15 year old is now beginning to thrive, being enrolled in drivers education and accepting of the fact he will be living here and that his mother is dying. We make sure he vistis with her regularly and she and her family continue to tell him that if she is realeased he will come back to live with then in a different town. She is on morphine, unable to walk, drive work or provide for his care. Can we keep him with us without a court order since she is not the one who would be caring for him if he is retruned. She doesn't have long to live and refuses to acknowldedge that which has my step son very frustrated and angry with her. Further more she has not paid abatements, provided no money to the children. He arrived in ur home with three pieces of clothing to his name. His school was unaware of the situation and he is now telling us that she threatened him against telling us when she was hospitalized and became bedridden. This last hospitalization (with no end in sight) began the day before we were leaving town and she forbid them to notify my husband. If they had we would have been here and there would have been no question of where to go when they found themselves unable to return home.
    The 18 year old is graduating in on week, rebellious and refuses to engage in a meaningful relationship with us. This is a result of her practining parent alientation, lying about us and then finally admitting none of it was true but if he came to us it would mean he doesn't love her.
    Again, if she is moved into the home of a family member so she can be cared for are we required to return the youngest boy, or under the parenting guideline do we have the right to determine what is best since she is unable to. Help!
  2. #2
    snostar is offline Senior Member
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    What does the order state in regards to LEGAL custody? There is no "we" this is between your husband and the child's mother.
  3. #3
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Until the court order is modified, she can request that the child be returned to her custody. If Dad refuses, he would be in contempt.
  4. #4
    tsteckler is offline Junior Member
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    custodial parent terminal

    The order states joint custody -- that both parents must provide for the financial, physical and emotional well-being of the child. If the custodial parent is unable to the non-custodial parent will be consulted and offered the opportunity to provide for the child. She agreed to have him moved to our home -- but says she will not sign the transfer of custody because the only income she has is the support.

    My husband discussed filing for the modification and transfer of custody and was informed the Marion County Courts are so far behind that in for all intents and purposes it would not make it before a court prior to her passing.

    The attorney also said based on the fact an agreed order was signed in Nov. by he and she that he was forgiving several thousands dollars in abatement and other bills she owed and she agreed to comply with the parenting orders as stipulated. She was incontempt no less then two weeks after the order was asigned when she was hospitalized for a week and he was not told about it until after the fatc and the boys were left alone in the aprtment. She has failed to provide school info, phone is disconnected, has not forwarded -- yet again -- abtement funds and has not offered my husband the opportunity to provide for the children in her absenece but instead has hid it from him. Her sister -- who is acting on her behlaf agreed iwth myhusnabd that my step-son should be moved to our home.

    Lastly, my step-son tells us he wa getting no more then two to three hours a night of sleep since he was spending the hours caring for her "cleaning her up after she vomited and keeping her company becuae she couldn't sleep from the pain."

    The attorney advsiing now is doing so as a favor since there has been thousands of dollars spent hiring attorneys to denf against actions she has filed and then ultimately dropped. My husband is not inclined to hire an attorney again but willing to represent himself if necessary.

    Any thoughts...
  5. #5
    snostar is offline Senior Member
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    He can file for immediate temporary custody ex parte, that would be the quickest way to be heard by a judge.
  6. #6
    Starry809 is offline Member
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    how about a new view?
    be nice. Put yourself in moms position.
    She didnt want kids to call dad as she was afraid of losing the only things she had left. You said she has no income, obviously, if shes terminal and that sick, she cant work. She doesnt even have her health or life anymore, all she has is the kids. doesnt sound like she has family, or they dont care. Possibly kids were acting out because their mother is dying.
    Help the kids by helping their mother. Instead of trying to take the only thing she has left in the world, try making her last little time as nice as possible. She didnt make good choices for her kids, I agree. BUt, on the other hand, with all that is going on, was she REALLY thinking with a clear head on the issues. The ONLY thing on her mind was "im dying, I have nothing, and now Im not even going to have my kids".
    Dad will get custody soon enough, when she passes. The kids will be with you soon enough, for good. You want them happy they got to spend the last times with their mom happily, or you want them resentful that you interfered in the only times they had left? This has potential to bite you in the behind, if not handled carefully. Let the kids stay with you without all this filing, motions etc. But make sure mom and kids know you are not interfering in their last short time together and you will do anything she wants regarding seeing her kids and making sure they get there when she is available.
    Pretend it is you HUSBAND (the kids' father) in this position, and treat her the same way, whether or not she deserves it. After mom dies, they arent going to remember the vomiting, the illness, and the cleaning up etc. they will remember you interfering in the last little time mom had on this earth.
    Be nice and have a heart. The woman is dying.
    only MHO

    Quote Originally Posted by snostar
    He can file for immediate temporary custody ex parte, that would be the quickest way to be heard by a judge.
  7. #7
    tsteckler is offline Junior Member
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    starry809--new view

    I have been in Mother's position -- I had stage 4 cancer and now am a five year survivor. I have a child whom within a week of my diagonsis had everything in wiritng between her father and myself in the evntuality of what may happen.

    Just to be clear as to our attitude towards mother. For Mother's Day I crocheted her a poncho although she has refused to have a conversation with me for three years -- the came about afterwhen she asked us to take custody of the boys and we asked her for a legal agreeed order she stopped talking to us and would not allow the boys to call us from her home.

    They have been mugged and beaten in their own neighborhood and yet she repeaedtly sent them out the door alone with no key to get back in in her absence, and under duress the boys have said if they went to court they would have to say they want to live with her or she would never speak to them again. Regardless of what she has done to them we recognize their loyalty and love for her and we respect their feelings.

    We have at every turn not purseued actions against her as for the best interest of the children despite her putting $53,000 of bills in our name by using my husbands ss number.

    Tolerence patience and understanding are our strong suits.

    However, my step son is afraid she will want him to come back. Secondly mother does not perceive herself as dying -- she will tell you she is going to be fine and the tumors are going away. Mother has no remaining funds becasue she blew through over $125,000 (in addition to the other monies) she was given at the time of the divorce (four years ago) and refused to work. FOR THE RECORD not penny one was ever spent on the kids we have paid for all their clothing, activties, lunch money etc. Futhermore -- despite the fact the children are not living with her we have never indicated nor asked for the support to be stopped which is close to $30,000 a year -- that is not our primary issue.

    So if you are under the impression we are monsters you are wrong. We are trying desperately to make sure the 15 year old is not thrown into turmoil yet again. He is genuinely concerned about being forced to go back to her.

    She has never said she wanted the children to return so she could have more time -- she has said as long as the income is coming in she deosn't care where they live.

    Furthermore, if not at our insistence they would not go visit her. We make a 100 miles roundtrip drive three times a week so the youngest can see her despite his objections. He won't call her -- she makes no attempts to call him and oldest boy who is still within 10 minutes of her hospital hasn't been to see her in 2 weeks. "Tired of listening to her lies" was his explanation. You trying explaining and dealing with remorse and feelings of guilt to a belligerent 18 year old. We have stressed repeatedly his need to to spend time with his mother.

    What we have explained to the boys is when Mom chatters on about things that may be, or makes remarks they find upsetting -- they need to realize she is heavily medicated and they need to be merciful and not confrontational.

    I think it was unfair of you to assume we are some how behaving in a heartless manner. It is quite the opposite -- and yes, she has a huge family who is at wits end with lack of interest in the boys and her resistance to address matters of importance. Her mother commutes between Gorgia and Indiana for three week stays and then back -- her 5 siblings have taken over handling many of her matters and yet -- they have also cut back on the amount of time they are spending with her.

    So the issue is about not about my husband or myslef -- it is about making sure a 15 year old boy has some stability and security. It is not about us trying to take anything away from anyone -- it is about a woman who out of vindictiveness will try to force her son back to live with her sister or mother to punish my husband. It is my step son who is concerned about being forced to return there.

    I did not register on this site to be lectured -- however the hope was we would find someone who may have had similar experiences and could enlighten us as to their own experiences and what our options may be.
  8. #8
    Starry809 is offline Member
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    you, also, misunderstood. It was not a lecture, only a point of view. And yes, you DID find someone on here that has been in that situation.... only slightly different.
    I was step mom. Bio mom announced she had bone cancer and was terminal, with less than a year to live. She had 3 kids, between the ages of 8 and 12 that we had custody of.
    I bent over backwards, while she refused to see the kids, was erratic at best when they were there. I even talked to her about various "off the wall" options like sharks bone, carrot juice .. etc. She had taught the kids how to break into houses, how to use bongs, was taking them to her meth labs with her to pick up... and those are the NICE things she did. She told the kids how awful her dad and I were, how she was going to take them and we wouldnt see them again, etc etc.
    Still, I sent her flowers, and tried to make sure the kids saw her as much as possible. I knew the kids were dieing inside at knowing their mom could go at any time.

    My thanks? She had lied. she wasnt dieing. She was playing on the kids, her ex, her boyfriend, her family and me. After we found out, I said not a word. I didnt yell at her or anything. I accepted it and considered the source.

    the next year, she told the kids she was pregnant. (she had had a tubal where they removed a section of the tubes, years prior. So I knew it wasnt true.) When she was 8 weeks pregnant she had an "ultrasound" and told the kids she was having a baby sister for them. The kids repeatedly asked to see the ultrasound so they could see the baby. She "forgot it at the doctors office". Then, oddly, 4 months into the pregnancy, she had a miscarriage.

    fast forward to 8 years later. her oldest boy dropped out of school, has no job and was just released from jail for stealing a car, drinking underage, and having meth on him. His "home" was in the middle of our local park for a long time. (His choice.) The second youngest boy also dropped out, has no job and no future. the oldest girl had a baby just after she dropped out of high school. and mom? oh, shes living with yet another boyfriend. while kids are living out on their "own".

    not all posts are as they seem in your view. Some really are meant as opinion, thoughts, and suggestions. And yes, there are some on here that have "been there done that." I was only trying to save you alot of heartache of getting caught in the middle of what should be between your husband and his ex. He was married to her, not you. and even though you care about the kids, they are still his and her kids. not yours. It is their decision to make on how to handle the situations that arise. And, trust me.. the more you are emotionally involved, the more itll kill you inside.
    (and my husband and I split up just after all the cancer/baby/etc crap. I simply couldnt take it anymore. she was nuts, and had decided it was her lifes goal to interfere and screw up our family as much as she could.) The less you let all this rent space in your head, the better off you are. All I said was to be nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by tsteckler
    I have been in Mother's position -- I had stage 4 cancer and now am a five year survivor. I have a child whom within a week of my diagonsis had everything in wiritng between her father and myself in the evntuality of what may happen.

    Just to be clear as to our attitude towards mother. For Mother's Day I crocheted her a poncho although she has refused to have a conversation with me for three years -- the came about afterwhen she asked us to take custody of the boys and we asked her for a legal agreeed order she stopped talking to us and would not allow the boys to call us from her home.

    They have been mugged and beaten in their own neighborhood and yet she repeaedtly sent them out the door alone with no key to get back in in her absence, and under duress the boys have said if they went to court they would have to say they want to live with her or she would never speak to them again. Regardless of what she has done to them we recognize their loyalty and love for her and we respect their feelings.

    We have at every turn not purseued actions against her as for the best interest of the children despite her putting $53,000 of bills in our name by using my husbands ss number.

    Tolerence patience and understanding are our strong suits.

    However, my step son is afraid she will want him to come back. Secondly mother does not perceive herself as dying -- she will tell you she is going to be fine and the tumors are going away. Mother has no remaining funds becasue she blew through over $125,000 (in addition to the other monies) she was given at the time of the divorce (four years ago) and refused to work. FOR THE RECORD not penny one was ever spent on the kids we have paid for all their clothing, activties, lunch money etc. Futhermore -- despite the fact the children are not living with her we have never indicated nor asked for the support to be stopped which is close to $30,000 a year -- that is not our primary issue.

    So if you are under the impression we are monsters you are wrong. We are trying desperately to make sure the 15 year old is not thrown into turmoil yet again. He is genuinely concerned about being forced to go back to her.

    She has never said she wanted the children to return so she could have more time -- she has said as long as the income is coming in she deosn't care where they live.

    Furthermore, if not at our insistence they would not go visit her. We make a 100 miles roundtrip drive three times a week so the youngest can see her despite his objections. He won't call her -- she makes no attempts to call him and oldest boy who is still within 10 minutes of her hospital hasn't been to see her in 2 weeks. "Tired of listening to her lies" was his explanation. You trying explaining and dealing with remorse and feelings of guilt to a belligerent 18 year old. We have stressed repeatedly his need to to spend time with his mother.

    What we have explained to the boys is when Mom chatters on about things that may be, or makes remarks they find upsetting -- they need to realize she is heavily medicated and they need to be merciful and not confrontational.

    I think it was unfair of you to assume we are some how behaving in a heartless manner. It is quite the opposite -- and yes, she has a huge family who is at wits end with lack of interest in the boys and her resistance to address matters of importance. Her mother commutes between Gorgia and Indiana for three week stays and then back -- her 5 siblings have taken over handling many of her matters and yet -- they have also cut back on the amount of time they are spending with her.

    So the issue is about not about my husband or myslef -- it is about making sure a 15 year old boy has some stability and security. It is not about us trying to take anything away from anyone -- it is about a woman who out of vindictiveness will try to force her son back to live with her sister or mother to punish my husband. It is my step son who is concerned about being forced to return there.

    I did not register on this site to be lectured -- however the hope was we would find someone who may have had similar experiences and could enlighten us as to their own experiences and what our options may be.
  9. #9
    tsteckler is offline Junior Member
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    starry-809

    My only emotional tie to her is that her actions and what she has done to her own children -- directly affect my daughter.

    The upheavel, the financial loses ( which were mine since she had already wiped out mu husband) have been momumental.

    I own my business and I am very fortunate to be successful and able to do well by the children -- she to me is insignificant. I don't play the bad mouht games, I don't believe it cristisizing a parent to a child (I spent years as a victims advocate in family court).

    So,.... again my only concern with the courts is can we hang on to this child and I say we becuase I am his primary care provider and he is closer to me then anyone else in the family -- and not have to stand helplessly by as he is forced by some sick twist to go back to the very situiation he is begging me to protect him from.

    He has really been vitimized by her owver and over again. Me I'm a big girl so I can cut my losses and as to taking life over -- I won't give any one that power.

    I appreciate you sharing your situation with me -- but as someone who has counseled others for years before leaving it all behind I am very good at staying detached. My husband unfortunately knows he is on his own with this -- I will not carryt his load and as you say it is between he and she. I will howver do whatever I need to do to maintain a stable and predicatble household for the well being of the children.
  10. #10
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    She is not without funds, she should apply to Social Security for disability, this will be retroactive and also includes benefits for the children, someone may have to help her do this or on behalf of the children. Is there something about visitaiton you have not told us, it seems strange that all this could happen if there was a visitation order.
  11. #11
    Starry809 is offline Member
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    excellent point. I missed the SSI benefits and disability situation entirely.

    Quote Originally Posted by rmet4nzkx
    She is not without funds, she should apply to Social Security for disability, this will be retroactive and also includes benefits for the children, someone may have to help her do this or on behalf of the children. Is there something about visitaiton you have not told us, it seems strange that all this could happen if there was a visitation order.
  12. #12
    tsteckler is offline Junior Member
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    Summer visitation schdule kicks in the end of next week. Six weeks with us as our discretion which we are using this in the event she makes an issue.

    My husband also has every other weekend, one night a week, alternating holidays and schools breaks. However -- she ha refused to allow the children to come at times, threatens to call the sheriff and then other times has called telling him to get the kids "she has plans". He has never turned down additioanl parenting time but despite the order saying any time she is not available for the chidlren or will be absent he is to be notofied and has the right to take them -- she has instructed the children not to let him know they are alone and she herself will not notify.

    As to vistitation with her. My husband has made of point of getting my step son to his mother no less then three times a week. My step son however would prefer not to go more then once a week and that is not without a battle.

    AS to the SSI -- thank you! When she was diagnosed I and my husband as well as many of her family members instructed her to make application for SSI. She refused -- to this date she refuses and will not consder services offered by the hospital.. She carried no insurance and is now being moved into a home close to her sister. My oldest step son has been told he will not be attending college now and that since the youngest boy is with us and "not available to to care for her" the oldest has been told he will be expected to provide care. Visiting nurses will come in, but other then that no one is willing to stay with her.

    This is a person who is extremely illogical and unreasonable. The cancer that is killing her manifested itself as a lump three years ago which she told us about. My husband arranged for a friend of his who is a doctor to see her free of charge since she had no insurance. She ignored this lump until it broke through the skin -- three years of watching a tumor grow and never seeking treatment or addressing it.

    Does that give you any indication as to what her attitude is as to taking responsibility of herself or the children.

    We have been told when she apsses to go to SSI and apply on behalf of the boys. Theyoungest knows this will occur and that money will be direct depsoisted to saving for and applied towrad his education fund (I started on efor him though my business so he already has a nice start). The oldest will 19 in a couple of months and we were told will not be eligible to receive benefits. She will not even give him her SS number so he can apply for school loans and financing.

    I really think at this poiont that even if she made a stink about the youngest no judge would order him back to that environment -- or am I just engagaing in wishful thinking.
  13. #13
    ablessin is offline Member
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    Wow - the bio mom sounds very irrational. I don't have any answers to help you with this.

    All I can say is I am very sorry, because it is not a good situation for the kids and in the long run, I am sure that there will be emotional dealings with them, espcially the 15 year old. It is hard to not have feelings for children and want to be there for them, and help them however you can!!! My fience has kids, too and sometimes I get very upset by things their mom does because I don't always feel she acts in their best interest either. But I know deep down, there is little that I can do about it.
    I just try to be there if someone needs an ear.

    It's a terrible situation. Again, I am so sorry.
  14. #14
    JoAnn957 is offline Junior Member
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    I realize....

    Quote Originally Posted by tsteckler
    I have been in Mother's position -- I had stage 4 cancer and now am a five year survivor. I have a child whom within a week of my diagonsis had everything in wiritng between her father and myself in the evntuality of what may happen.

    Just to be clear as to our attitude towards mother. For Mother's Day I crocheted her a poncho although she has refused to have a conversation with me for three years -- the came about afterwhen she asked us to take custody of the boys and we asked her for a legal agreeed order she stopped talking to us and would not allow the boys to call us from her home.

    They have been mugged and beaten in their own neighborhood and yet she repeaedtly sent them out the door alone with no key to get back in in her absence, and under duress the boys have said if they went to court they would have to say they want to live with her or she would never speak to them again. Regardless of what she has done to them we recognize their loyalty and love for her and we respect their feelings.

    We have at every turn not purseued actions against her as for the best interest of the children despite her putting $53,000 of bills in our name by using my husbands ss number.

    Tolerence patience and understanding are our strong suits.

    However, my step son is afraid she will want him to come back. Secondly mother does not perceive herself as dying -- she will tell you she is going to be fine and the tumors are going away. Mother has no remaining funds becasue she blew through over $125,000 (in addition to the other monies) she was given at the time of the divorce (four years ago) and refused to work. FOR THE RECORD not penny one was ever spent on the kids we have paid for all their clothing, activties, lunch money etc. Futhermore -- despite the fact the children are not living with her we have never indicated nor asked for the support to be stopped which is close to $30,000 a year -- that is not our primary issue.

    So if you are under the impression we are monsters you are wrong. We are trying desperately to make sure the 15 year old is not thrown into turmoil yet again. He is genuinely concerned about being forced to go back to her.

    She has never said she wanted the children to return so she could have more time -- she has said as long as the income is coming in she deosn't care where they live.

    Furthermore, if not at our insistence they would not go visit her. We make a 100 miles roundtrip drive three times a week so the youngest can see her despite his objections. He won't call her -- she makes no attempts to call him and oldest boy who is still within 10 minutes of her hospital hasn't been to see her in 2 weeks. "Tired of listening to her lies" was his explanation. You trying explaining and dealing with remorse and feelings of guilt to a belligerent 18 year old. We have stressed repeatedly his need to to spend time with his mother.

    What we have explained to the boys is when Mom chatters on about things that may be, or makes remarks they find upsetting -- they need to realize she is heavily medicated and they need to be merciful and not confrontational.

    I think it was unfair of you to assume we are some how behaving in a heartless manner. It is quite the opposite -- and yes, she has a huge family who is at wits end with lack of interest in the boys and her resistance to address matters of importance. Her mother commutes between Gorgia and Indiana for three week stays and then back -- her 5 siblings have taken over handling many of her matters and yet -- they have also cut back on the amount of time they are spending with her.

    So the issue is about not about my husband or myslef -- it is about making sure a 15 year old boy has some stability and security. It is not about us trying to take anything away from anyone -- it is about a woman who out of vindictiveness will try to force her son back to live with her sister or mother to punish my husband. It is my step son who is concerned about being forced to return there.

    I did not register on this site to be lectured -- however the hope was we would find someone who may have had similar experiences and could enlighten us as to their own experiences and what our options may be.
    ...that you didn't register on this site to be lectured (although I didn't take it as a lecture) much like being on Springer, when you put things out on any site like this you run that risk and should look to yourself when you find you're in that situation. That having been said, and this is not a lecture, although an observation, have you considered that the mother maybe someone under educatated and what you find as irresponsible is more her concern that filing for benefits may minimize the amount her children will get in the event of her death? You can't begin to understand where she is coming from and despite your obvious distaste for her, she is their mother and I find your attitude toward her, having nothing but negative things to say, concerning for the attitude or you leave with this child whose mother is dying. She's not thinking she is going to die because to do so assures her of dying. There are those that without 100% positive outlook will lay down and die. Hope is all she has and I know I would be scared to death and fighting with everything I had. If that meant fighting you and the ex or whoever to keep my children before I die then so be it. This attitude may not be popular with you but then again, you aren't the one dying.
    Last edited by JoAnn957; 05-20-2005 at 08:47 AM.
  15. #15
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Bravo, JoAnn.

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