There are a lot of parents on here with a lot more experience than I have so I'd like to ask some advice since trouble is abrewin'. BACKGROUND: I have a 13 yo daughter. Her father and I have been sep/div'd since she was 11 months old. She's grown up with me except my one year in Iraq. Her father has sometimes gone a year or more without seeing her or talking to her. And she adores him. I've never talked badly about him but I've put distance between us and him. He is a serious drug addict and has never grown up past 19 years old. (We are both close to 50) He sleeps on his parents' couch, his buddies' couch, or finds girlfriends to use-up. He has a spotty work history but is always working on a big job … soon. Anytime he starts to succeed at something, he loses it all (apt, job, car, all of his clothes). And, yes, there is jail time in there too. But it is always 'someone else's fault' that he's in there. He has rarely paid child support (and the court ordered amount is not really a lot), complains about it to whoever will listen, and tells me it's not all about buying things and money. (???Yeah, but it IS about boots and a warm coat in the winter when she was little) His parents are big–time enablers. According to them I am irresponsible, have no idea what I am doing raising a child, and I've done a terrible job at it. And they say so in front of their granddaughter. I've worked hard through the years to give her a good life even though it was VERY sparse until she was about 8 yo. I worked as a legal secretary, made an extra $250 a month from the Army Reserves (thus the trip to Iraq), and went to law school on the GI Bill. I lived in Europe with my daughter for the past four years, and now live in the US in a lovely house in a cute town with a good school district. I've never remarried and rarely dated. I've had only one real boyfriend and l let him and my daughter meet. It was good but we broke up and I haven't had another boyfriend since. I am not a 'poor little rich girl.' I started from nothing and worked hard in order to give my daughter a good life. But I understand that the more I try to keep her from him the more she will want to be with him, idolize him, and pine for him. THIS SUMMER: In the past 1.5 years, teenage hormones have kicked in. OK, I understand that. We've been dealing with that. If she doesn't talk to me about things, she's close to her godmother (my dear friend) and talks to her. (Her godmother lives close to my ex and that's how I find out a lot of information regarding arrests or other drama.) Both my daughter and her father announced to me that she was going to live with him permanently because she's always lived with me, it's time to change, and he lives in an excellent school district. I told the both of them it wouldn't last past the summer and always knew she'd be home for the start of school. She spent two months with him except for the first week of the summer when he was arrested and she ended up at his parents' house for the week. Again, the arrest was a mistake or someone else's fault. His parents wanted to know why I thought I had to fly her back home to me so I let her stay with them. However, lots of bad things happened this summer after he got out of jail in a week and took her to live with him and his girlfriend: she tried marijuana (didn't like it), took someone else's antidepressants (felt 'better'), got arrested at the mall for shoplifting while with two other girls (she's mortified), and her father let her run wild with little supervision. The worst of it is that she is picking up his mannerisms: 'cops are bad', distortion of the truth (it was someone else's fault), dismissal of any topic she doesn't want to discuss and walking away, manipulation of me (attempted). She told her godmother that she feels the need to be 'tough' around her father. I spoke with the arresting officer, juvenile probation, and the store from which she stole. I told them to please send any necessary paperwork to my address. Her father never told any of them that she lived with me 1500 miles away from him. The police officer told me that where her father lives is infested with drugs and trouble and it would be best if she never went back there. It never crossed my mind that where he lives is a 'bad' place because I grew up in that area of town and it was never a bad place. It is now. HERE'S MY DILEMNA: I need to keep him (and his parents) from influencing her further. I have thought about going back to Europe. I know that I am lucky that I have that option. I am not a wealthy, over-indulgent parent who gives her child everything she wants. I was offered a dream job that paid our moving expenses overseas as well as a good salary. So off we went and I thought it was better to live in a small, cheap row house in Europe and spend money on travelling (cheaply) to European cities in order to give my daughter experiences instead of 'things.' I think part of his parents' problem with me is that I am from the 'wrong side of the tracks' and they are not. Their son never grew-up (in fact all three sons are the same) and I divorced him ("abandoned" him according to them). I have managed to be a good single mother with little help from their son, graduate law school, and provide a good life for their granddaughter. But my daughter has a drug addict father, four alcoholic grandparents (some passed away), five addict aunts/uncles, and several alcoholic great-grandparents (now passed away). She is set up for failure with two strikes against her already. I thank God that I don't have the addictions but I live in fear for her. My reaction to all of this is to go straight back to Europe and stay there until she graduates high school. But her father will still be around. He manipulates her now ('I feel so sorry for Daddy.' 'Daddy is the greatest.' 'Daddy was a good husband.') So what's going to happen if I don't do something now? What suggestions can you more-experienced parents give me to ward off a possible bad future for my daughter? Her father thinks that a life of drugs, total irresponsibility, jail, public defenders, arrests for shoplifting ('All kids do it,' according to him.) is NORMAL. I know that the more I keep them apart the more she wants him. She was happy to come home from the summer and the experience DID scare her. But now she wants to go back for Christmas. My answer is NO. He will never have the money to take me to court and force me to send her to see him. But he WILL manipulate my daughter so that I am the bad, evil mother keeping them apart. And she will buy it, hook, line, and sinker. Sorry this was so long. And thanks to anyone who reads it.