The system stinks!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bran155, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I am so irate over the laws in my county. My difficult child will be 18 in less than 6 months. She reminds me everyday that she will stop all medications and treatment. I believe her. It makes me crazy that I don't have the right to kick her out of my house or force her to take her medications or participate in treatment. Then why am I still legally responsible for her. That just makes no sense whatsoever!!! If she is "adult" enough to make choices regarding her well being than she should be "adult" enough to live on her own. In the eyes of the "system" she isn't an adult until 21, then shouldn't I be able to "parent" her until then??? I am just supposed to allow her to decompose and run a muck in my household and make everyone else who lives here nuts. That is just not fair. Nor is it in my difficult child's best interest.

    What am I supposed to do? I have no recourse once she turns 18. I am floored by this logic. Has anyone else dealt with this? What did you do? I am a nervous wreck!! She keeps telling me she will be moving out, yeah right, not going to happen. Where the h*ll does she think she is going? She will be here with us, driving us crazy until she is 21. By then if she still refuses to do her part, I WILL kick her out!!!

    Any advice????
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! This sounds really odd to me - I'm in NYC and they're allowed to throw us out when we're 18. Are you sure about this 21 bit?

    I'd call social services and find out exactly what options are available to you. And I'd ask them "if she was using heroin and leaving dirty needles around, should I have to worry that my 2 year old might find it and inject it out of curiosity?"

    Call social services, if 21 is correct, then find out how she can be totally emancipated at 18 to get her out of the house.

  3. Love the sunshine

    Love the sunshine New Member

    Could it be that she is able to live on her own when she is 18, but the juvenile courts have control until she is 21? For example, if she commits a crime as a juvenile, she can stay in juvenile detention until she is 21. I believe that is how it is for our state (it may even be 24 in our state)

    My son will be 18 in less than two months. We have struggled with some of the same issues, although since he has been on probation he has actually gotten a little better. It's horrible how powerless we can feel as parents - especially around this age.
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Most states say 18 or 19 a person is considered an adult. However, if her attitude is that she will discontinue medications at 18 but still be able to live at home, you do have some options. You don't have to provide anything but the very basics. No new clothes (Goodwill works if you absolutely have to give her any). No electronics of any sort. No "good" food -- rice and water and an overripe banana every meal really is okay. Unless she bought it herself, take it out of her room. No rides nor access to a car even if she bought the car herself -- if there's an accident, you'll be legally responsible so long as she lives at home, so no driving and no giving her rides. In other words, make her life so miserable she will either follow your rules or move out. Not a lot of fun and the battles will be enormous but it will get your message across. by the way -- I'd start now given her attitude.
  5. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Thanks guys. I was speaking to my sw today regarding this issue and she said that it is just Westchester County. NYC and Rockland County you are only responsible until they are 18. My sw says it's because the city of Yonkers and Mount Vernon (towns in my county) have so many children in placement that there is no money in the budget to care for children until they are 21. The sad part is that my daughter will have the right to leave my house when she is 18, I just can't throw her out. (or force her to participate in treatment/take medications)

    I will absolutely make her life as miserable as I possibly can if she refuses to comply. I am just afraid of the meltdowns she will no doubt have without her medications. It will be complete and utter chaos!!! Hopefully the misery I force her to live in will make her change her mind about the medication. We'll see......

    She got high again today and left the house before our sw got here. The sw comes for her and usually ends up giving me the therapy!!! She hasn't been refusing her medications and her mood has been pretty good for the last few days. So we are due for a meltdown.....

    Thanks again. :)
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have no advice and now I have to check the laws in Ohio because our plan is to have difficult child live on her own when she is 18 for the very reason you describe, I will have no control over her and don't want to be responsible any longer.

  7. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    here in NJ you can be out at 18 and you're charged as an adult at 18, no matter what your IEP or psychiatric reports say!
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just sending supportive hugs. It doesn't seem right.
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Is there any legal action you can take because of her drug use?
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    That doesn't seem right, that she's a legal adult at 18, but you're still responsible for her? What a nightmare for you. Sending hugs.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Bran, you said, "I will absolutely make her life as miserable as I possibly can if she refuses to comply. I am just afraid of the meltdowns she will no doubt have without her medications. It will be complete and utter chaos!!! Hopefully the misery I force her to live in will make her change her mind about the medication."

    So, looking at this -

    "I will absolutely make her life as miserable as I possibly can if she refuses to comply."


    "I am just afraid of the meltdowns she will no doubt have without her medications. It will be complete and utter chaos!!!"

    IS IT GOING TO BE AS BAD AS THE CHAOS FROM HER REFUSING HER medications AND TREATMENT? And how long will YOUR chaos last, compared to the chaos from her?

    "Hopefully the misery I force her to live in will make her change her mind about the medication."

    That's the idea. Start now. Start yesterday. Stand your ground. Invest in a storage unit to put in everything you take out of her room, because if you put it elsewhere in the house she will just steal it back again. Also, be prepared to live frugally yourselves so she can't re-supply her own 'needs' from your stash.

    If you've got stuff in storage, then if she relents and chooses to comply, reward her with quick re-supply (at least to the household as a whole). If she breaks the rules again, then it's another quick trip to t he storage unit.

    Do not let her know where the stash is hidden, do not let her find the key.

    I like BBK's direction of thought, also. If difficult child is putting you, husband and easy child at risk then see what legal action you can take (such as a court order?) to make her comply and give your own discipline methods more 'teeth'. A contract maybe?

    There has to be a way. If there isn't one, you have the power to make a way.

  12. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I too live in NY State and saw a lawyer regarding this legal responsibility til the kid is 21. Yes, it is true you cannot kick the kid out at 18. However, the kid can leave on his/her own--if I were you I would be praying that this is exactly what she does. Now if she goes for public services then the Dept. of Social Services can take you to court to get you to pay child support. But, if she is going to continue living in your home you have the right to provide her with the bare minimum and also to have stringent rules. If she doesn't want to live under those rules she can leave.

    In our case, I "kicked" difficult child out when she was 18 and she and her boyfriend went straight to the DSS. The DSS worker called me and asked if it was true I had kicked her out. I said, "yes, she cannot live here, it is not good for my younger dtr" and explained our circumstances. She said that if I was unwilling to have difficult child live at our house then they would come after us for child support. However, she told me within difficult child's hearing, that I could have very stringent rules. I said, "okay, then she can come home." I knew difficult child would not come home, she didn't want to live with rules. The social worker then asked if I would be willing to provide difficult child with some basics such as a winter coat. I said I would. She then offered to work with difficult child and me and I agreed. difficult child did not want to do this so she gave up trying to get DSS help and that was the end of it.

    I would definitely call difficult child's bluff--if she wants to move out at 18 let her. Then when she finds out that if she wants public assistance she is going to have to live either by your rules or the DSS rules (they have to get a job, etc.) she's going to see that just because she is 18 doesn't mean she is free if she can't support herself.

    Let me know if I can answer any other questions. I truly understand your frustration with the state of NY. My lawyer said the law is set up so the taxpayers aren't supporting other people's kids. Fine, but then give us some authority over our kids! But, as I said, there are ways around this--you can make your dtr's life quite miserable if she is going to remain living with you.

  13. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Meowbunny, Marg and Jane have provided you with excellent advice about how you can deal with your daughter. I agree that, the sooner you start the sooner your daughter will either start complying or move out.

  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My mother had wisdom for whenever one of us thought we were going to run the household.

    First: You may or may not be bigger than I am - but you will NEVER be meaner.

    and she meant it.

    Second: You have to sleep sometime.

    and she meant it.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    LOL, Susie!

    Great advice here, bran. I had no idea there was such a vast diff in laws between 18 and 21. It is truly bizarre.

    I agree with-your plan. I like Marg's storage unit idea, too. And the idea that if you catch her with-drugs in your house, you call the police and she's out.

    So sorry for the mess. I wish she, and all of our kids, would understand that they're only hurting themselves. Sigh.