• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

husband's responsiblities to his cousin?

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.

A

ahutchGA

Guest
What is the name of your state? GA

This is a weird situation, everybody, so please bear with me.
My husband was raised by his maternal grandfather (now deceased) and his grandmother. Also in the household was his maternal aunt (his mother's sister) and her son (husband's 1st cousin).

Cousin has long had learning disabilities, diagnosed mental problems, and a violent temper. County Police have been called to their house several times for domestic disturbance, when Cousin has threatened his mom, or broken something in the house. Charges have never been filed because the mother usually tells them that it won't happen again.

Cousin has also walked out of several jobs and seems to do nothing these days but eat (no kidding, he is nearly 300 pounds at age 23). His mother works 2 jobs and spends her paycheck trying to keep a roof over her mother and son's head, as well as bail Cousin out of his latest misadventures.

My husband's grandmother and aunt recently told my husband that should something happen to the 2 of them, husband would be legal guardian and responsible for Cousin. I have no idea if anything has been put in writing.

If that does happen (and I admit, I'm a great crosser of bridges before they need to be crossed), what would my husband's responsiblities be? I'm all for helping out family, but I don't even allow my 3 year old son around Cousin unsupervised, so I'm leery about opening our home to him.

My husband's grandmother recently talked about having Cousin committed, after he tore up the house and a locked pantry door, , searching for food. Would that be something my husband would be able to do?

Thanks for your advice. Sorry for the weird situation.
 


Perhaps I'm missing something (which definitely wouldn't be a first), but, a person is not a piece of property one can inherit. I don't see how your husband can be 'made' to be responsible for his first cousin in the event of the passing of the mother and grandmother. It sounds like these two women have a pretty horrendous cross to bear, but, they have chosen to bear it.

If this 'child' of 300 lbs. and 23 years is this potentially dangerous, how can they, or anyone, expect you to bring him into your home with your child? I too fully believe in helping out and standing by family, but I also believe that when you have children, they are your 'first' family and all others place a distant second.

You don't say how your husband feels about all this, and that is the only point that needs to be addressed. If he is being guilted into this by the grandmother and aunt who raised him, you need to help him see that, and see beyond that. Ask your husband if his responsibility to the women who raised him is more important than his responsibility to his child. It is a horrible position to be in, agreed, but it is the hand that life has dealt you both.

The eventuality of this cousin outliving his grandmother and mother is probably a given. What to do at that point will largely be determined on his then current mental condition, and whatever transpires between now and then. Recommend that the grandmother and aunt get very good life insurance policies, with your husband perhaps appointed as executor, to be able to pay for a quality residential facility for this cousin. In the meantime, I would be researching exactly what the cousin has been diagnosed with, and what facilities exist that can handle those particular diagnoses. For the right price, a suitable situation can be found. They do exist, and if they would require the entire life insurance settlement of the mother and/or grandmother, so be it. Your husband can rest assured that his cousin is well cared for, and in a situation where he cannot hurt himself or anyone else, particularly, his 'first' family.
 

nailtech

Senior Member
At age 23 I don’t see how anyone is legally responsible for him except himself, He is a legal adult..... They may mean morally, but not legally responsible.... calm down, I don't think your responsible to "RAISE" him... he is raised already...

If it were me, I would not open my house to him under any circumstances and your husband should not put you into that situation... they should make provisions for him if something were to happen to them... not to put it on one person knowing no one can handle him.. I feel they are the crutch and thats why he is like he is, if its not a documented mental disorder... Just my opinion..
 
A

ahutchGA

Guest
Thanks for the advice!

Thanks Illinois Parent and NailTech!

My husband came to some of the same conclusions you all did. He would like to have Cousin committed to some nice facility where Cousin's not taxed beyond his abilities, and is not a threat to the rest of the family.

My husband also reassured me that his first priority is me and our son. So I'm definitely reassured on that score!
:)

I don't know how much research can be done on Cousin's mental condition, because much of his genetic history is missing. His mother won't reveal to this day (not even to her family) who his father is, so we don't know about genetic, environmental, or (Vietnam War?) military factor.

Yes, Nailtech, I believe something is seriously wrong with Cousin, but there is also a lot of it that can be traced to spoiling. He was never encouraged to do chores, help around the house, take responsiblity for his actions (excuses were always made for him), and his womenfolk now are paying the price.

Thanks again for your help!
:)
 

nailtech

Senior Member
Re: Thanks for the advice!

ahutchGA said:

Yes, Nailtech, I believe something is seriously wrong with Cousin, but there is also a lot of it that can be traced to spoiling. He was never encouraged to do chores, help around the house, take responsiblity for his actions (excuses were always made for him), and his womenfolk now are paying the price.

Thanks again for your help!
:)
Thats what I thought but didnt want to step on your toes saying it.... seems more than just the women folk are going to take the brunt of this one.. good luck..... :)
 
A

ahutchGA

Guest
Nailtech, and yet...

And yet my husband's grandmother and aunt criticize us for teaching our 3 year old about chores. They say he's too young to be made to work.

(Our son helps me unload the dishwasher, pick up his crayons, and drop clothes (while standing on a chair) into the washing machine.)

Some people never learn!
:)

Thanks again for your time!
 
Clarification.....

When I said 'research' his condition, I was trying to delicately state that you need to find out what, if anything he has been 'labeled'. Based on that, you can then begin to find facilities...i.e., behavior disorder, some form of retardation (the cause, genetics, child of a chromosonally damaged Nam vet, etc., are irrelevant) or mental disabilities. If he has not been officialy diagnosed with, say, OCD, ADD/ADHD or anything else, then perhaps a nudge to get him diagnosed might be in order.

The sad part about not knowing his parentage is that if it is a case of a chromosonally damaged Nam vet, who has been treated by the VA, there would be more help and options available to you. Perhaps this is something to address with the aunt?

As far as chores are concerned, my son did them willingly at 3. And 4, 5, etc. It's not until they are pre-teens that our 'neat and orderly' little boys become slobs...but having had them do chores when they were younger does teach them that a clean, orderly home is a 'group' effort. And this is a bad thing why??? Ignore grandma and auntie...it sounds like the cousin's father may not be the only source of ... possible genetic deficiencies.
 
A

ahutchGA

Guest
No kidding

Illinois Parent,

I know what you mean. I don't let comments or criticisms get to me. It's a wonder my husband turned out human.
:)

I will do my best to research, or get my husband to do the legwork, the cousin's condition.

Thanks for your help!
 

nailtech

Senior Member
Re: Thanks for the advice!

ahutchGA said:

His mother won't reveal to this day (not even to her family) who his father is, so we don't know about genetic, environmental, or (Vietnam War?) military factor.
I'm only assuming here, but the reason if feel she has not told who the father is, is maybe he is/was married man and she's protecting him... and I know it's totally irrelevant... but if anyone should be held responsible for the man it should be the father... not your husband... JMO...
 
A

ahutchGA

Guest
Nailtech!

I honestly hadn't thought of that, since I've never heard hide nor hair about the father.

But you're right.

:)

Thanks!
 

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential
data-ad-format="auto">
Top