Follow up post- Attorney?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by stepparentincrisis, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. stepparentincrisis

    stepparentincrisis New Member

    Hello,

    I posted awhile back regarding my 17 year old difficult child. Quick recap, he is 17, still our responsibility legally, and we have him living in an efficiency we pay for (and food) due to his dropping out of high school, inability and unwillingness to get a job, and his daily drug use. It cannot work with him in our house while we are raising an 8 year old girl. I received great support and really good advice, thank you all. A common theme I saw was that we consult an attorney. Well, we need to now as we can't go on doing this as it is killing us financially. What type of attorney should we consult? Family law, juvenile law, custody, etc? We have prepaid legal and can borrow against our 401k to pay for it, I just want this expedited and to make sure we see the right attorney. Keeping this vague, we are in Pinellas County in Florida. Please let me know if anyone has a suggestion, thanks.
     
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Contact a family law attorney. The same type you would see if you were seeking a divorce. You must know someone who had a good attorney in a divorce. Ask who they used, and tell them what you're comfortable with. Anything from "My friend had a car accident and needs an attorney, who did you use?" to your entire story. We can't give you a name here - rules.

    I can not stress this seriously enough, so I am going to bold, CAPITALIZE and italicize it, otherwise you will hate me because you will think I gave you bad advice if you don't do exactly THIS:

    FROM THE FIRST MOMENT YOU CONTACT THE ATTORNEY MAKE SURE THAT HE OR SHE UNDERSTANDS THAT HE OR SHE IS BEING HIRED TO REPRESENT YOU AND YOUR WIFE'S INTEREST AND THAT HE OR SHE IS NEVER TO REPRESENT YOUR SON OR YOU WILL FILE A CONFLICT OF INTEREST COMPLAINT WITH THE BAR AGAINST HIM OR HER. MAKE SURE THAT HE OR SHE UNDERSTANDS THAT YOU ONLY WANT A CONSULT AND THAT YOU DO NOT WANT CONTINUING REPRESENTATION.

    Ask for a consult and have your questions prepared and in writing. Be prepared to talk for an hour and to pay for one hour. Gird yourself because you might pay for two. Their hourly rate is going to be about $200 - $300, and it will be money far better spent than on a weekly room. Don't talk small talk. They'll charge you the same to talk about basketball as they do to talk to you about your legal situation. They will suck you dry to the bone.

    Don't ever pay for that room again. Your son is 17 years old and you are legally responsible for every debt he owes and every law he breaks. He parties and trashes the room? You'll pay for it. He parties and someone OD's? You'll pay for it. He parties and someone is hurt or killed in a fight? You'll pay for it. You'll not only pay for these things you'll be charged as a co-defendant AND as an adult. You'll lose everything forever.

    The money not spent on the room will pay for the attorney. You can either pay a few hundred now to an attorney or you can pay forever and risk the chance of losing everything and/or jail.
     
  3. stepparentincrisis

    stepparentincrisis New Member

    Thanks for the reply. You mentioned "don't ever pay for that room again." What else can be done? He can't stay with us, and we legally need to provide food and shelter according to DCF. I know an attorney can help with the answer, but what are you suggesting?
     
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    What the attorney will tell you is that while you are responsible for his room and board you don't have to pay for a hotel. You will pay for residential treatment, so you need to get on the phone and get pre-authorization from your insurance NOW. If he won't go to rehab then he has run away.

    There's nothing in between that I am leaving out. Stop paying for the hotel. Tell the hotel you're done paying and that they should evict him and if he won't leave they should call the police because a bed is waiting for him at "XYZ Rehab".

    I think that you would be more comfortable hearing this from an attorney, but if you want to save yourself attorney fees do just what I said.

    1. Get pre-authorization from your insurance for rehab (yes you'll transport him deal with that when & if the time comes);
    2. Tell the motel you are done paying because he has a bed in "XYZ Rehab";
    3. Tell the motel that they should be prepared to call the police to evict him;
    4. When he runs off report him as a runaway;
    5. When the police pick him up tell them that he has a bed at "XYZ Rehab".
    You seriously need to get in front of this before this goes wrong because this is going to go wrong. You just paid two weeks for your out of control GROWN SON to act like an adult and live on his own on your dime. He's going to have a tantrum when you cut him off, and he's going to cause damage. You need to be prepared. You need to see it coming and know how you will react.
     
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think Witz covered it all. I would listen to her and do as she tells you to. She has been in your shoes and she knows.

    In the meantime, make sure you and your wife have a lot of support in the way of friends, therapy, a parent group, NAMI, whatever, just make sure you get YOUR needs met. This is a tough road and ultimately you may be in the adversarial position, so gird your loins. I'm sorry, I do know how tragic this is..........
     
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. I hadn't even thought of what Witz says, but I agree. That will be a way to sort of force him to at least be off the streets and safe, as well as in an environment where he can decide to get help if he wants it. I wouldn't break the bank for a hotel room either for the reasons Witz says. Can you imagine the parties he could throw in there and how drunk and disruptive and destructive some unsupervised teens who are difficult children can get?

    Also, he can get the message early that once he is eighteen he either follows your house rules, does not break the law, or has to find another place to live on his own dime, which requires him to get a job. Whether he will or not, that is not known. But if we all supported our immature adult children after they turned eighteen, while they are not doing anything to improve their lives, we are going to be living in homeless shelters with them!!

    Do call that lawyer. And try to have a little peace and serenity tonight. I know it's not easy.
     
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