Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.
I can imagine how frustrating, distressing, and heartbreaking this situation must be for you. You are clearly loving and caring parents and grandparents. I am so sorry that this is the situation you are faced with here with your son and his wife. This must be very, very difficult for you.
And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. This is not how the ideal situation would be. And so it's hard to know what's the right thing to do and what's not. On one hand children love and need their parents; on the other hand, children don't thrive growing up with drugs, neglect and abuse. I've had to work with adults who grew up in that situation as kids; it's not a healthy environment or way to grow up.
But your heart is being torn apart: how can you do this to your son? Should you do this to your son? Is it better for your grandson if you just put up with it?
The key here is that there are two steps to this issue. First is your propping up your son and his wife and enabling them to avoid having their child removed from their custody by the state. The second step is then whether you should step in and preempt the state's taking the child from them.
So, even though I know it's a difficult discussion emotionally because you have a good heart, we have to discuss enabling. It's become such an important concept today that there are thousands of sites on the internet describing it and many books and articles. Enabling adult children is what you would search on.
You may already be familiar with the concept and discussing it between the two of you. If so, I want you two to act on it. You can't keep enabling your son and his wife to be dysfunctional, dishonest, criminal, and disloyal (I know these are harsh adjectives to hear about him). And even though it's hard, he has to actually live out the consequences of his behavior and not be propped up. Otherwise, he will keep on with this behavior. Let me recommend two books that are easily available online about enabling:
Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children: Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents by Allison Bottke. She comes from a Christian perspective but it is not a religious book and non-religious people have found it extremely helpful.
The Enabler by Angelyn Miller. This is also excellent and not just for the usual enabling of alcoholism, etc.
I hope you see that once the enabling issue is open and discussed, the question of whether to continue with the attorney and filing for custody is not a difficult one. You need to evict your son and his wife as soon as possible. The attorney can advise you on that. You have been robbed and they were guests, not renters, is what hopefully the attorney will be able to state. But whatever their legal status in your home, you need to regain your home back with the attorney's help.
Your grandson's status is then very easy to recognize: he will certainly do better in your care than in their custody. Because otherwise, the state will put him in foster care if you do not take him as they will now be bouncing around in shelters, etc. Which is what they need to experience for a while to see that they need to now mature and change their behavior.
Okay, I wish you the very best!
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