A 13-year-old who has been mostly living with me during a period of estrangement from her father has learned today that

Expert's Assistant chat
Customer: A 13-year-old who has been mostly living with me during a period of estrangement from her father has learned today that the sister whose care she is technically under is moving from the apartment building we're all in to the one their father lives in. She is in floods of tears because she has not lived with her father and other sibling since last summer and has learned that the move is planned for next month. She has been seeing a counsellor for a year now who is well familiar with the situation and though family counselling was talked about, it has not taken place. She has been succeeding academically and has been healthier than she's ever been and is telling me that she doesn't feel comfortable moving back in with her estranged relatives so quickly. I used to be a close friend of the family until the father's OCD and one of his daughter's anger issues led to a cessation in communication - it's these same issues that led to the 13-year-old and her 18 year-old moving into an apartment together. Prior to starting to stay with me - with her sister's permission - she mostly just lived in her room and was not sleeping nor eating well. She has come a long way but as she is only 13, I am assuming that she has no say in the matter, but I don't know. I would appreciate any advice. Thank you.
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: I have not because I don't know if I'm allowed to do so on her behalf. She only found out about this today. I have spoken with a family counsellor a number of times before and consulted with CAS once when she was worried that this could happen. Her eldest sister has said that they can continue to live together in the new apartment but it would only be temporary.
JA: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?
Customer: I'm in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don't think so. Only that she has been living away from home for almost 8 months and does not feel that she can return at this time. She will be 14 in August.
Answered by Debra in 33 mins 1 year ago
imglogo
Debra
10+ years of experience
logo

170480 Satisfied customers

Expert in: Family Law, Legal, Estate Law, Real Estate Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Business Law, Consumer Protection Law, Bankruptcy Law, Traffic Law, Personal Injury Law.

logoimgimgVerified lawyers, 10+ years of experience
Chat with a Lawyer in minutes, 24/7
imglogo

Verified lawyers, 10+ years of experience

Save time and money. Get specialized help.

imglogo
Debra
10+ years of experience
logo

170480 Satisfied customers

Jessica

Jessica

Consultant

31,131 Satisfied customers

Pearl avatar
Lawyer's, Assistant
14 Lawyers are online right now.
img

Debra, Expert

Hello and Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is***** will be working on your question today and I am looking forward to our conversation.

Customer
Hi, Debra. Thank you.
img

Debra, Expert

Please note that I am working from my computer and not actually texting. If you don’t answer back for a while I may not be online when you do but I will never desert you and will check back often. As well, as I am working from home it is possible that I will be interrupted but I will always return back as soon as I can.

Finally, although the site offers a call option I personally do not take calls but just work online. Some find this confusing as it looks like the offer is coming from me but that is just how the site presents the offer and it really isn’t coming from me. Some of the other experts do take calls and so you are very welcome to request a call on this post and an expert may take it. They will have the benefit of reading our exchange which should work out very well for everyone involved!

Customer
Under other circumstances I would likely opt to connect by phone but the teen in question is here with me and I've just gotten her to stop crying and don't want her to overhear and get upset again.
Customer
Ah! I'm just reading your message - typing is fine. Thank you! It's actually much easier for me too right now.
img

Debra, Expert

I know your question is important to you and I will be giving it the time and attention it deserves.

I am sorry to hear of this difficult situation.

Do you want her to keep living with you and do you think the father would consent? Do you think the 18-year-old sister would consent?

Customer
I think that continuing to live with me is in her best interest, at least until such time as she and her family have engaged in counselling. They have had difficulties for a number of years that came to a head last summer. It is what she has asked me repeatedly, why she cannot stay with me. Last summer her father did want her to stay with me for an extended period but after I shared with his family what was happening, thinking that was important given how bad his OCD was, he got upset and suggested she live with her sister instead. At this time, I don't know that he would agree; I believe he feels that it is his place as her father to have her live with him, regardless of how strained the family dynamic is. And since I haven't been in contact with him, nor has she aside from some texts, we are not sure if his OCD has improved, if he is taking his medication properly (he recently stopped his own CBT), or if her middle sister's temper has improved. If she had a say, she would request to stay with me and I would agree, but I don't think she has any say at her age. Her 18 year old sister has said that they can continue to share the new apartment, which will be in the same apartment building as their father and other sister's, but it has been made clear to her that it would be temporary.
img

Debra, Expert

Then if they try to force her to move out from you you can bring an application to the court for custody of the child. Her wishes at this age would be given considerable weight.

But in fact so long as she's safe with you if the police come to take her to her father's or sisters and she refuses to go there really is no way for them to force her at this age. All they would do would be to check to make sure she is safe and that she is where she wants to be.

Do you see what I mean?

Customer
I do. Is this something she should raise with her counsellor? She has asked if I would meet with her counsellor at their next appointment.
img

Debra, Expert

Yes she should for sure.

That will help make your and her position stronger.

Customer
Ok. Thank you very much for your help. I will definitely meet with her and her counsellor then.
img

Debra, Expert

You are very welcome.

Thank you for trusting us to help you here at JustAnswer. If you need more clarification or have a follow-up question just reply and we can continue our dialogue. If you would like to ask me new questions please start a new post and if you do if you say “This is only for Debra” I will be sure to give your post top priority.

Customer
Thank you. I really appreciate that. I hope that you have a good weekend.
img

Debra, Expert

Thanks

Ask a lawyer and get your legal questions answered.
See all Legal Questions
img
Related Legal Questions
How it works
logoAsk for help, 24/7
Ask for help, 24/7
Members enjoy round-the-clock access to 12,000+ verified Experts, including doctors, lawyers, tech support, mechanics, vets, home repair pros, more.
logoExpert will respond in minutes
Expert will respond in minutes
After you reach out, we match you with an Expert who specializes in your situation. Talk, text, chat, whichever you prefer.
logoSave time & money
Save time & money
No scheduling hassles, missing time from work, or expensive consults.
A JustAnswer membership can save you significant time and money each month.
img
logo 593 Verified lawyers, 10+ years of experience
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on Askalawyeroncall.com are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. Askalawyeroncall.com is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response as proposing specific action or addressing your specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances should be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on any information received from an Expert, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains. The responses above are from independent, freelance Experts, who are not employed by Askalawyeroncall.com . The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credentials of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.
Explore law categories
Powered by JustAnswer