My question involves guardianship in the State of: North Carolina / Connecticut
I have a few questions really.
Some background first: My 16 yro son came to live with us when he was 10 upon the death of his father. We have managed O.K. so far with minor problems until this past year. Recently when put on restriction he fed us a letter that stated he hated us, we weren't his parents (he now considers us guardians) and the only reason he continues to want to live with us is to attend the private school he goes to. Previously his father was very loose when it came to parenting as he had a fatal illness that favored spoiling. ANY form of punishment is considered abuse by my son. House rules that apply to everyone are considered "mind control" in his words. We have explained he is free to disagree so it's not thought control, but he still has to obey the rules. He just doesn't seem to get it....
We currently live in NC, we enrolled my 16 yro in a new school (after home schooling wasn't working for him) and he started lying to his teachers. For example, we grounded him from his laptop for looking up things that were inappropriate, and he told his teachers we did not want him to have a laptop (required for school). Slight twist of the truth but had us on the defensive with his teacher. This was the one thing a teacher passed on to us. Little things like this grew over time until recently at the end of the year we started hearing from him things like he wanted to be emancipated. I got all the information for him on emancipation explaining to him what he was actually saying and we dropped it. Recently upon being grounded he decided to leave the house, angry at being grounded. We called the police to have a "talk" with him about his rights ect. During this process found out when he left he went to a teachers home who then drove him to meet his friend. We now have a serious problem with a teacher who would a: if she thought something was seriously wrong did not report it to the proper authority or b: would not try to contact the parents to return the child.
This led to us speaking to the dean of the school and we found out that my son has been lying over time and that the school has been concerned. Not once did they ask for a parent / teacher conference. This is a very small school with young teachers, somewhere between 5-10 kids per class depending on class, with mixed ages. I don't think some of the teachers have the experience needed to understand kids of this age. The dean is going through a similar situation with him 18 yro step daughter and so sympathized with us once hearing the truth from us. My son is an honor role student and has always done well and generally is thought of as a "good kid". He also believes because he is an honor role student he is smarter than most adults. He places a very high value on "book smarts" but lacks common sense as most kids do this age. Apparently, a different teacher that has a "masters in psychology" (my son stressed this) advised him to leave his home. Not sure if I believe him but this is what he claims. Needless to say we are not comfortable sending him back to this school. Again, not sure what my son might have said to him, but I can't imagine him saying anything too terrible and what teacher would give that advice?
My 16 yro turns 17 in Sept. We have always told him if he would be happier staying with a relative we are not forcing him to live with us. We have always tried to work with him and take his feelings into account when making decisions about his future, but we do have certain house rules that are non negotiable. I am his parent but he grew up in CT under the roof of his father/grandfather/uncle, three bachelors who shared a home, for most of his childhood. He chose to continue to want to be here. That has now changed of course, as he is not getting his way. He would like to continue going to the school mentioned above but that is not happening. His other options are: continue public school here (schools aren't very good) and start over from scratch (friends etc), or go to school in CT, the schools are better, where he has friends and family, and also a family member that works on the staff at the school he would attend so he couldn't manipulate the situation there.
As a parent I am concerned with him rebelling and starting a downward spiral as of right now he has a good start at life but that could change quickly based on immature decisions on his part. He doesn't respect our authority and I don't believe that will change in the next two years. He will be going into 11th grade and college is prepaid by his Great Grandmother.
Legal language is a bit confusing and I am trying to figure which would be easiest and quickest IF we decide that it is O.K. for him to go stay with his Grandfather. I need to figure out fairly quickly where he is going to school next year. It seems a temporary guardianship might be suitable for the school to get him enrolled w/o having to pay tuition.
If my son gets into trouble with the law in CT are we held accountable then for his actions while he is up there?
If we want his Grandfather to be the guardian does the Grandfather submit the petition or do we do that here in NC? Can we do so without going to court or getting a lawyer? We can't really afford an attorney at the moment.
We have already spoken to the Grandfather regarding finances for clothes, medical etc. but what would the legal implications be? Should we expect child support that is mandated in the case of a guardianship?
If my son goes to CT and the Grandfather is the guardian will my son be able to still use the insurance from my husbands policy or will the Grandparent have to provide insurance?
If my son stays here and decides not to follow our house rules and leaves when he feels like it, how long does it take before he is in serious trouble and the state gets involved?
If I transfer guardianship to the Grandfather does that in any way affect my other two children?
If my son becomes physically abusive by pushing or hitting his younger siblings what rights do I have as a parent to stop this behavior? Do I call the police? Just wondering what to do if things escalate as this is new for us.