Greetings: First, the parties involved reside in Pennsylvania.
Situation: In June 2005, I befriended a woman and her two boys after her husband (boy's step-father) abandoned them. He had left 9 months earlier. They were destitute, no money to pay the rent, household expenses, food, car payment, or clothing and medicine. The child support from their real father is less than 500 per month. I started picking up the expenses for all of their living, including all mentioned above. In short, I have provided for well over 50% of their living expenses from June 2005 up to now; probably more like 80-90%. I even paid for her move back to Delaware county, so that she could look for work. After a year she did eventually find a job, but I still contribute well over 50%. During the past 18 months, the she and the kids have had many medical problems, and I took care of the doctors' bills and meds.
However, about 6 month ago, she picked up a new boyfriend, and he is not happy that I am involved in her or the boys' lives. I restricts my contacting them, my activities with them, and gets upset when I send down clothes or gifts. HE is not working, and had no place to live, so I agreed to let him and his son stay in the home I rent for my friends. (the lease is in mine and my friends name---I pay all the bills).
I have never tried to have a more intimate relationship with my friend, and I never held any conditions over her head for the support, other than the promise that she make the welfare of the boys her number one priority. Now I am afraid that this new boyfriend has so much control over her, that she is losing site of her responsibility to put the boys first. And because I am restricted from having contact, I can't check up on them.
My goal is the safety and childhood of the boys. I have built up a trusting and caring relationship with them, and I feel I am being kept from them by her boyfriend who is taking advantage of my kindness.
Because I have provided more than 50% of the boys's and their mother's support for over 6 months, do I have any leagal standing with in loco parentis? Can I go to court and secure rights to visit them, obtain partial custody (for day trips), and to be involved with decisions that affect them? I understand that it will probably make me legally responsible to keep supporting them, but I had no intention of giving that up anyway, for as long as the family needed help.
What are my options??