Is it Possible that DCSS will Sue Me For Support to Be Paid to My Parents or Daughter?

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I live in California State. My daughter “M” (17-1/2 years-old) recently moved out and now lives full time with her grandparents (my parents). There is approximately 98% no communication. The only time I receive a text (no personal, email, usps or phone contact – their choice) is to ask insurance information. I am given little to no information on my daughter’s health or anything having to do with her life. My daughter “M” is scheduled to see a psychiatrist in November. She suffered an injury (not head, physical pilondial cyst/lower back), and had complications in the ER. She “M” currently sees a therapist once a week. At one point the therapist wanted to conduct a family session.

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My daughter “M” has since absolutely refused and instructed me to stay away from the therapist. Due to the stress, I have made arrangements to speak with a therapist as well. I am also on two anti-anxiety medications. My younger daughter ”H” (15-1/2) is also on anti-anxiety and stomach stress medication, as well as a heart monitor (also believed to be stress), she too sees a therapist. My younger daughter “H”, a freshman. She is shunned by my daughter “M” and her boyfriend, both seniors. This is terribly embarrassing (while at school) and stressful to my younger daughter. She misses her sister very much – we all do. When asked “why” she/”M” wanted to move out, I was given the same two responses, on different occasions, by both my daughter and my mother. I though, unlike my parents, request that the girls (son does not live at home) help with dishes and laundry and once every other week, with cleaning the house. I am not a strict person, and quite liberal (within reason).

In addition, a number of years ago (approx. 2009) I allowed my mother to be the “custodial party” during a time when my daughter was back and forth. I did this for one reason. The DCSS worker explained that my mother would be allowed medical benefits (she/my mother at the time had no insurance and needed medical care) for this reason ONLY… I agreed to her becoming the “custodial party”. When my daughter moved back home, I never sought to retain the custodial party title. My daughter had lived with us for a few years and moved out slowly this summer. Approximately 2 weeks ago, I received a letter stating that my mother had acted on her “custodial party” rights. She informed DCSS that my daughter had moved out. Child support that DCSS had been collecting on my daughter’s behalf and crediting to me was stopped. It was never very much, nor consistent. It is currently over $10,000.00 in arrears. For me, this is not about the money. I am unsure the reason for my mother/daughter doing this. My husband maintains health insurance on “M” (his stepdaughter). We are also paying numerous and expensive medical bills. My question: Is it possible that DCSS will sue me for support to be paid to my parents or daughter? At this point should I see a family law facilitator or wait to see what happens? Should I have my daughter emancipated (she will be 18 in January 2013)?

I had already suggested that to her when she was adamant that she could live on her own. If she does emancipate, will I be legally responsible for her until she is 18, or has graduated in June? She currently is in ROP. For her to attend the 2nd year (she will be 18 & already graduated, so she will not qualify for ROP), will I be responsible for the costs? She had told me before moving out that I would be paying for all of her additional schooling. I apologize for so many questions. I cannot afford a lawyer. And I’m just so dumbfounded by her & my mother’s actions. My family and friends have watched me slowly fall apart, physically and emotionally because of this. I am doing my best to maintain as “normally” as possible for my younger daughter. My 21 year-old son and my younger daughter “H” have both said that I have tried for years, above and beyond, to make my daughter “M” happy, secure, and pretty much whatever she has desired (within typical reason). Many that are familiar with the situation, family and friends, have told me I need to basically “move on” since my daughter is almost 18-years-old. I don’t ever want to “give up” on my daughter, I just don’t know how much more I can take. At this point, I just want and need to know what my responsibilities are. I unfortunately do not see a reconciliation with my daughter, nor do I foresee a relationship with my parents. Again, thank you immensely, I am truly sorry this is so long.

Based on the information you stated above, you may be accountable for your daughter’s medical expenses. You will need to review your child custody order to determine the scope of the legal aspects of the terms and conditions surrouding physical and legal child custody. Your order may state that you are suppose to insure your daughter, or be responsible for any cost associated with her health insurance. Note, whether she is in your physical custody or not, you may still be held accountable for her medical expenses.

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Author: House Attorney