Asked over 4 years ago - Oviedo, FLFlag
I have a 17 yo daughter in Seminole county, Fl and I live in Denver, Co. My ex has primary custody but by daughter does not want to live with her any longer. We have been divorced about 1.5 years. My ex has a severe drinking problem and several men living with her that also have drinking problems. The environment is pretty horrible to say the least... I and my 22 yo daughter living in the area have reported the situation to child protective services only to have both cases quickly dropped and closed. It is my daughter's desire to live with her sister so that she can stay in the area and I would support that. I would prefer her to come live with me but really just want her to get out of this terrible situation with her mom. My daughter has dropped out of school, has pretty bad depression, gained about 50 pounds since Christmas, and loathes how her mom is now living. She left in October to live with her sister. Her mother physically attacked her on Halloween when she returned briefly to see her friends (No report was filed unfortunately). Her mother forced to return on the 30th day that was she was living with her sister, I am assuming to be able to maintain child support. She is now not allowed to be in the house alone, can not see her friends, and not allowed to leave the house. Her sister bought her a new cell phone when her mom took away her phone, which is our only way to contact her. I had really hoped that Child Protective Services would take a more active role in helping to remove my daughter from the situation. The police have also downplayed all the things my daughter has told them. I really have limited funds to engage lawyers and fight her mother in court over this, so I am not sure where to go at this point. Any advice?
Please note that this answer does not establish an attorney client relationship and is meant as a general response. You have a very difficult situation. You are limited by distance and a lack of financial resources. The police and DCF haven't helped so I won't tell you to try again. I have a couple of thoughts. Your daughter can ask Legal Aid to represent her or go through the phone book imploring each lawyer to help her, and you can offer to pay what you can, not to represent you, but her. She might consider filing for emancipation, or for a domestic violence injunction. There might be other actions as well. Being in school opens an array of services so that going back to school could be very helpful. There are many social services available to students, more than most people realize. Your daughter might try calling 211. That is the "Crisis Line" but the main service provided is referral to agencies for almost any problem imaginable. She should not give up on reaching out for help. There are dozens if not hundreds of agencies in Florida designed to provide help to children and families. Finally, she is the child of an alcoholic. She needs help. Al-Anon is the first call she should make.
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