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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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What can be done on a weekend when faced with a serious

Customer Question

What can be done on a weekend when faced with a serious situation, and no local lawyers have w/e hours. I have a 15yo step-daughter that is seriously mentally ill. She has abused her mother primarily, but all other family including myself. Her mother has suffered a severe decline in mental health and it was suggested she assign me as temporary guardian, by dept of social services, which was done. My wifes mental health team is directing her to refrain from any contact with her daughter until progress through therapy, and help for our daughter can be improved. Our daughter has a long history of suicidal actions, and she has recently also had a steady increase towards being homicidal.
She has a list of diagnosis as long as my arm, and been hospitalized for treatment often (six facilities in past two years). Her most recent facility, "kicked her out" for being physically and verbally abusive to staff and another (patient). Prior to discharge we requested a preventative case be opened with DSS, which was done. During discharge, are daughter was also put into the PINS program. In following the direction/suggestion of DSS our daughter suffered a crisis police were called, and daughter taken to the hospital er for evaluation. As normal, she apologized for her actions calmed down and granted discharge... this has happened the same way for between 10 and 20 times in the past 2 years. IMO, her oppositional defiance disorder, sends her into crisis mode anytime you don't give her what she wants. As I am the only member left in the home( others moved out for their health/safety) I am now her primary target. I have been directed by dss workeers to not divulge much of her common behaviors when filling out paperwork for services. I am also threatened with charges of abandonment If I express my concerns for my safety and own mental health ( I am also fading as did my wife, and had to seek emergency health care). I am also threatened with removal of the other children (3 others between my wife and I). DSS says they are working on getting approval for testing of our daughter, and seems to acknowledge her illness, they also seem to REFUSE to see my concerns for myself and the others around our daughter (public school system, temporary respite providers, and even people in contact with her on the street. My body is shutting down, I am having an increase in stress related issues (digestive issues, extreme head aches, frequest dizzy spells). I am now told I need to go pick up our daughter, and act as nothing is happening and treat her as a normal child. My dizzy spells still are random, and have increased even with the medicine prescribed, Its been suggested I don't drive. Im currently faced with a major decision. Do I disregard my own safety concerns and retrieve our daughter? Do I risk endangering the welfare of a child if I go pick her up and run off the road? Do I continue to refrain from providing the school with important health and safety concerns I think they should be aware of? My wife and I have been told we are liable if our daughter attacks someone we could have forewarned.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

If I may ask, is it possible for you to get someone else to drive you to pick her up, even via a service such as a taxi or Uber? If that is possible, at least your second issue can be resolved--you do have a duty to pick her up because since the child is still under 18, she is your charge, and leaving her somewhere is indeed neglect and endangering the welfare of that child. Now, as far as failing to disclose, you unfortunately have a duty to do so because if she does harm someone and you do not disclose it, you can be liable for it. Frankly, you may be better off calling the police, considering pressing charges if she acted in a criminal manner, and sending her to juvenile hall if you are so concerned about your own health and safety and the safety of other children.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.