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  1. #1
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    Default Stepdaughter Feels Obligated to Stay with Mother Because of Accident Debt

    My question involves juvenile law in the State of: California

    My stepdaughter is 17 and will be turning 18 at the end of October (next month). She just started her senior year of high school. She lives with her evil mother, a convicted felon (guilty by welfare fraud), in California.

    I found out from her yesterday that a couple months ago, she accidentally backed her mother and stepfather's new 2007 leased pick-up truck into a pole. Her mother told her she must pay for the repair and therefore will owe her $2,000 in May of next year (2009). Being that the truck is leased, it is due back to the dealership in June 2009 and must be returned in "mint condition."

    If my stepdaughter wants to leave her mother's at the end of next month when she turns 18, is she in any way legally obligated to pay her mother for the repair?

    Her mother is being highly unreasonable and unrealistic about the daughter's ability to pay $2,000 by next May when the kid is a full-time high school senior juggling a part-time $8-an-hour job with homework, paying her own cell phone bill, paying for her own auto insurance, paying for gas for a 15-miles-to-the-gallon tank, paying maintenance and any other potential repairs on the truck, and paying for her own clothes (when my husband is sending $800 a month to her mother which should cover that).

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Stepdaughter Feels Obligated to Stay with Mother Because of Accident Debt

    If my stepdaughter wants to leave her mother's at the end of next month when she turns 18, is she in any way legally obligated to pay her mother for the repair?
    Your stepdaughter wrecked the car and is legally responsible for the repairs. Was the 2 grand a random number or was there an estimate? However, you stated that she pays her own insurance, so why doesn't she file a claim with her insurance company? It will in all likelihood cause her rates to go up, but its better than the alternative. It's NOT unreasonable to hold her accountable for the damages.

    My daughter did the same thing to my new car in May, it wasn't even 10 days old. She rear ended someone. Caused NO damage to the other car so no police were involved. The damage to my car was just under 5,000. I made her pay the deductable to have it fixed and the rate increase. Its part of life and learning how to drive.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Stepdaughter Feels Obligated to Stay with Mother Because of Accident Debt

    Quote Quoting gigirle
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    Your stepdaughter wrecked the car and is legally responsible for the repairs. Was the 2 grand a random number or was there an estimate? However, you stated that she pays her own insurance, so why doesn't she file a claim with her insurance company? It will in all likelihood cause her rates to go up, but its better than the alternative. It's NOT unreasonable to hold her accountable for the damages.

    My daughter did the same thing to my new car in May, it wasn't even 10 days old. She rear ended someone. Caused NO damage to the other car so no police were involved. The damage to my car was just under 5,000. I made her pay the deductable to have it fixed and the rate increase. Its part of life and learning how to drive.
    First of all, my husband and I don't argue that our daughter should be held responsible for paying for the damage to the truck. However, what I failed to mention is.....

    The lease and the insurance policy on the truck are in her mother's name. Therefore, her mother didn't want to report the accident to the insurance company because her rates would go up. Frankly though, knowing her mother, I don't think she even has our daughter down on the insurance policy as a driver of the truck! So naturally, her mother is being fraudulent (AGAIN) in order to get the most bang for her buck. Her mother is a criminal, once told by a judge in the town she lives in that she is "the most scandalous woman in ******* *****." Originally, I'm certain it wasn't planned for our daughter to be driving that truck. I say that for 2 reasons: one, when our daughter told us about the accident, she also told us that prior to that, her mother and stepfather had gone out to shop for a starter car for her and had actually found one and were going to get it for her until...they saw a new Harley Davidson pick-up truck he just HAD to have and so they screwed her on the car and bought the Harley instead for him; and two, while our daughter's mother may have been letting her use the truck until they found her a car, her mother wouldn't spring for the significant hike in insurance to have her put on the policy. THAT is why our daughter is paying HER so much for insurance and THAT is why our daughter is, without a doubt, paying not the deductible to have the truck repaired but the FULL amount of the repair! And I'm also 99% certain that her mother didn't show her an actual estimate of the repair cost.

    What I'm alluding to here is that her mother, knowing that the $800-a-month child support payments from my husband will be ending in less than a year, is doing everything she can now to trap her own daughter into staying in her house and continuing to feed her money after the child support well dries up. So she's making unreasonable demands of the child. Another indicator of this is the fact that she has taken over paying most of our daughter's cell phone, even though the phone is in our daughter's name and our daughter pays her own bill. It's all about gaining as much control over our daughter as possible, both mentally and financially, so that she can't save any money to leave home when she either turns 18 next month or graduates from high school next year, or so she can't afford to go off to college...or both.

    Having explained that, maybe you'll see this from a different angle now, why I say her mother is being unreasonable. Abusive, unfair, and blatantly self-absorbed is more like it. Her mother is a convicted felon. She has forged documents on her home computer, Lord knows how many times or how often, and we know this because our daughter has told us she's witnessed it first hand. She forged our daughter's birth certificate with the high school, took my husband's name off of it, and put our daughter's stepfather's name on it. What motive she had behind doing that, we don't know, but my husband found that out from our daughter's guidance counselor when he attempted to send our daughter a letter at school last year and the counselor denied its delivery to her because he wasn't listed on the BC as her father. Something else of concern is the fact that that woman, despite the fact she's a convicted felon, possesses firearms in her home, which is against the law under her circumstances.

    She knows her/our daughter is young and naive about things like auto leasing and insurance, among many other things, and she's using that to her full advantage. She also knows that even though our her/our daughter may be very angry with her, she has her very afraid of her and hard-pressed under her thumb.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Stepdaughter Feels Obligated to Stay with Mother Because of Accident Debt

    [QUOTE=OIFvetWife08;246151]First of all, my husband and I don't argue that our daughter should be held responsible for paying for the damage to the truck. However, what I failed to mention is.....

    The lease and the insurance policy on the truck are in her mother's name. Therefore, her mother didn't want to report the accident to the insurance company because her rates would go up.
    I wouldn't want to either... legal.

    Frankly though, knowing her mother, I don't think she even has our daughter down on the insurance policy as a driver of the truck! So naturally, her mother is being fraudulent (AGAIN) in order to get the most bang for her buck.
    Under most insurance policies, you can allow the odd driver to use your vehicle with your permission. Legal.

    Her mother is a criminal, once told by a judge in the town she lives in that she is "the most scandalous woman in ******* *****."
    Did anyone else fill in the blanks with "Hazard County"? Anyway, irrelevant.

    Originally, I'm certain it wasn't planned for our daughter to be driving that truck. I say that for 2 reasons: one, when our daughter told us about the accident, she also told us that prior to that, her mother and stepfather had gone out to shop for a starter car for her and had actually found one and were going to get it for her until...they saw a new Harley Davidson pick-up truck he just HAD to have and so they screwed her on the car and bought the Harley instead for him;
    Legal. I don't know of any law that requires parents to buy her a car. If you think she should have one, feel free to provide it.

    and two, while our daughter's mother may have been letting her use the truck until they found her a car, her mother wouldn't spring for the significant hike in insurance to have her put on the policy.
    That is a matter between the mother and the insurance company. However, if your daughter knows she is not on the insurance, she shouldn't be driving it.

    THAT is why our daughter is paying HER so much for insurance and THAT is why our daughter is, without a doubt, paying not the deductible to have the truck repaired but the FULL amount of the repair! And I'm also 99% certain that her mother didn't show her an actual estimate of the repair cost.
    Legal. I would have asked for an estimate, but that is me.

    What I'm alluding to here is that her mother, knowing that the $800-a-month child support payments from my husband will be ending in less than a year, is doing everything she can now to trap her own daughter into staying in her house and continuing to feed her money after the child support well dries up.
    Okay... irrelevant.

    So she's making unreasonable demands of the child.
    Opinion.

    Another indicator of this is the fact that she has taken over paying most of our daughter's cell phone, even though the phone is in our daughter's name and our daughter pays her own bill. It's all about gaining as much control over our daughter as possible, both mentally and financially, so that she can't save any money to leave home when she either turns 18 next month or graduates from high school next year, or so she can't afford to go off to college...or both.
    Many parents don't allow their child to even have a cell phone. Your definition of control is only your opinion.

    Again, if you want her to have money or a cell phone with more freedom, you may provide it.

    Having explained that, maybe you'll see this from a different angle now, why I say her mother is being unreasonable. Abusive, unfair, and blatantly self-absorbed is more like it.
    Again, nothing is illegal.

    Her mother is a convicted felon. She has forged documents on her home computer, Lord knows how many times or how often, and we know this because our daughter has told us she's witnessed it first hand.
    Then your daughter should call the police.

    She forged our daughter's birth certificate with the high school, took my husband's name off of it, and put our daughter's stepfather's name on it. What motive she had behind doing that, we don't know, but my husband found that out from our daughter's guidance counselor when he attempted to send our daughter a letter at school last year and the counselor denied its delivery to her because he wasn't listed on the BC as her father. Something else of concern is the fact that that woman, despite the fact she's a convicted felon, possesses firearms in her home, which is against the law under her circumstances.
    Again... call the police if a crime is being committed. If you are not willing to call the police, telling us will not change anything.

    She knows her/our daughter is young and naive about things like auto leasing and insurance, among many other things, and she's using that to her full advantage. She also knows that even though our her/our daughter may be very angry with her, she has her very afraid of her and hard-pressed under her thumb.
    Still not illegal.

    One more point, and I want to make this as clear as I can... one stepparent to another.

    You, as stepmom, are a legal stranger to this child. You, as stepmom, have no - zero, zip, nada - control or influence over the child.

    You, as stepmom, do not get to judge the mother's actions... or you risk the court thinking you are trying to replace the mother in the child's life... a bad place to be.

    There is no "our daughter". The child is not yours in any legal manner whatsoever. Yes, you may have an emotional attachment, but you don't have a legal one.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stepdaughter Feels Obligated to Stay with Mother Because of Accident Debt

    The "our daughter" and "her mother" thing got to me as well.

    How 'bout we just hang it all out there?

    If sd moves in with you, would dh be willing to still pay child support? Would you let him?

    I really think this is what it all comes down to.

    If you realllly want her to move in with you, why not give the "evil mother" that option?

    After all, it's for the children right?

    Not the child support.

    Right?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stepdaughter Feels Obligated to Stay with Mother Because of Accident Debt

    [QUOTE=cyjeff;246174]
    Quote Quoting OIFvetWife08
    View Post
    First of all, my husband and I don't argue that our daughter should be held responsible for paying for the damage to the truck. However, what I failed to mention is.....



    I wouldn't want to either... legal.



    Under most insurance policies, you can allow the odd driver to use your vehicle with your permission. Legal.



    Did anyone else fill in the blanks with "Hazard County"? Anyway, irrelevant.



    Legal. I don't know of any law that requires parents to buy her a car. If you think she should have one, feel free to provide it.



    That is a matter between the mother and the insurance company. However, if your daughter knows she is not on the insurance, she shouldn't be driving it.



    Legal. I would have asked for an estimate, but that is me.



    Okay... irrelevant.



    Opinion.



    Many parents don't allow their child to even have a cell phone. Your definition of control is only your opinion.

    Again, if you want her to have money or a cell phone with more freedom, you may provide it.



    Again, nothing is illegal.



    Then your daughter should call the police.



    Again... call the police if a crime is being committed. If you are not willing to call the police, telling us will not change anything.



    Still not illegal.

    One more point, and I want to make this as clear as I can... one stepparent to another.

    You, as stepmom, are a legal stranger to this child. You, as stepmom, have no - zero, zip, nada - control or influence over the child.

    You, as stepmom, do not get to judge the mother's actions... or you risk the court thinking you are trying to replace the mother in the child's life... a bad place to be.

    There is no "our daughter". The child is not yours in any legal manner whatsoever. Yes, you may have an emotional attachment, but you don't have a legal one.
    I'm going to address you first. I think you need to know ALL the facts, the big picture, before you go doling out your legal 'knowledge' with your pompous, holier-than-thou, unwelcome attitude. If I were your stepchild, I'd shoot myself.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Stepdaughter Feels Obligated to Stay with Mother Because of Accident Debt

    Quote Quoting mmmagique
    View Post
    The "our daughter" and "her mother" thing got to me as well.

    How 'bout we just hang it all out there?

    If sd moves in with you, would dh be willing to still pay child support? Would you let him?

    I really think this is what it all comes down to.

    If you realllly want her to move in with you, why not give the "evil mother" that option?

    After all, it's for the children right?

    Not the child support.

    Right?
    And now for you. Your response is just plain 'out there.' I can't even figure it out because it totally misses the mark and flies off into Deep Space 9. I think you need to get some focus and know more about your subject matter. Well...at least your grammar was acceptable.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stepdaughter Feels Obligated to Stay with Mother Because of Accident Debt

    Okay, even with the added stuff, it doesn't change the matter at hand. I don't agree with how mom is dealing with this either but who am I to judge? I'm not the mother here and frankly with all due respect neither are you. Mom has done nothing illegal here.

    In regards to the claim on the car. Your daughter DOES NOT have to pay ANYTHING without given a written estimate. She is only responsible for the damages she did in the accident. Make sure she takes pictures in case there is added damage prior to her getting the truck fixed. The daughter here should tell her mother to sue her to get the money UNLESS she can provide a legal estimate for the repairs. Mom may just realize then that filing an insurance claim is the only way that this will work to her satisfaction.

    Your step daughter needs to CONTACT the insurance agency to see if she is covered or not and do NOT drive a car until this can be verified. She could end up getting in really big trouble for driving without insurance.

    Look at the bright side, your husband only has to deal with the mom for less than a year.

    Be kind to the volunteers here. They are telling you the truth even if it's not what you want to hear.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Stepdaughter Feels Obligated to Stay with Mother Because of Accident Debt

    [QUOTE=OIFvetWife08;246239]
    Quote Quoting cyjeff
    View Post
    I'm going to address you first. I think you need to know ALL the facts, the big picture, before you go doling out your legal 'knowledge' with your pompous, holier-than-thou, unwelcome attitude. If I were your stepchild, I'd shoot myself.
    Nice.

    Anyway, your vitriol doesn't change the legal facts.

    Unless you understand where you stand, you are going to put your foot in it with the next step.

    I gave you the options you COULD control... you can buy the daughter a car, a cellphone or give her cash.

    Past that, you have as much of a legal right to question her upbringing as I do... we are both LEGAL strangers to the child.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Stepdaughter Feels Obligated to Stay with Mother Because of Accident Debt

    If you really didn't understand my question(s), I will ask again:

    Is your husband willing to continue to pay support to his ex-wife, if she allows the sd to move in with you? Or is this really more about the money that is leaving your household every month?

    I've known people who have done such a thing because they loved their children more than the money; just wondered if you/your husband had even considered such a thing.

    And btw, your arrogance is a bit off-putting. You do not have any say in this child's life. That is between the mother and the father.

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