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Ask Dr. Keane Your Own Question

Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1761
Experience:  Parenting Workshops, Teacher, PHD Clinical Psychology, 30 yrs. Exp. 4 Children
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My brother, who is finalizing his divorce, has been talked

Customer Question

My brother, who is finalizing his divorce, has been talked into giving up all his property and assets to his children who are all minors. The wife insisted that they would get it anyway and why not now. My brother is terribly stressed over the entire affair and just wants it to end, therefore is in agreement to anything she is asking. He feels that he would prefer to just start over as he has a good job.

However his 2 children, who are both teens, barely give him the time of day, have grown up in a prominent family and have never wanted for anything, nor would they. We feel that not only will this make it more difficult for our brother to begin to establish a healthy relationship with his children, if they become instantly wealthy, but that they will never respect their dad as their mother does nothing but manipulate the kids and they are very angry with their dad.

Can you explain in detail, the mistake that our brother is making and why, as well as how it isn't a good choice either for himself to begin from scratch at 55 or his kids who are terribly, terribly spoiled.

We also, wonder what this will teach these kids, (good academically) to have money so easily.

Also, we have tried to explain that the dust will settle, but our brother is simply frantic not to lose his kids, though we feel this might be the longer route as they will only continue to view their dad as pathetic.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 6 years ago.

Dr. Keane :

Hello, I can help you today.

Dr. Keane :

This is a situation I see quite often in my practice. Your brother is frustrated and just wants it to end. I always tell parents to take the high road in these situations, right now the kids are teenagers which means they are totally self involved and if they have been manipulated by their mother they will side with her. Your brother should protect himself financially as well as provide for the kids college etc. What will happen if he "does the right thing" (he is going overboard by giving it all up, but it's his choice) is that as the kids get older they will be able to see through more mature eyes what has happened, that "ah ha" moment. Once they realize what has happened and they know their father was always going to care about them, they will reconcile their differences. If he allows them to drift away they may feel he doesn't care. It's not about the money, it is about the relationship. It's more important that they know he is there if they need him emotionally (even if it's not mutual with them presently), validate what they are feeling and stay in touch with them, even if they aren't interested. Tough? yes, but it will pay off in the long run. Money can always be made and I think that is what your brother is saying but parent / child relationships need to be nourished even when it is one sided. I understand your point however, he is doing what he feels is right for him and his children. Can't argue that no matter how spoiled or selfish his kids are.

Customer:

Ok, this isn't terribly helpful.

Customer:

I am not asking if its his choice. Clearly this is obvious. What we're asking for is some suggestions. How to get through to him

Customer:

The mother makes double the income of our brother already. The kids are provided for.

Customer:

I didn't put my credit card up to hear, "take the high road", we had hoped that you might actually answer our questions with some viable responses. We were hoping that you would be an expert here. You have given us less than we came up with ourselves.

Customer:

You haven't even answered our questions, but rather put your answer together in a neat little paragraph that says pretty much "nothing'

Dr. Keane :

Sorry you didn't get the answer you wanted. You don't pay anything until you accept an answer so your credit card is safe and not charged.

Customer:

I guess this is a bit complicated for a straight answer. Chat would certainly be preferable.

Dr. Keane :

It is a bit complicated, always is where money is concerned. You may even want more of a legal experts advise rather than parenting expert's advise. I answered the way I did because I work with wealthy people going through divorces and have spoiled children. I never blame the children for it since they grew up this way, they don't know anything different from their own experience and if they are over indulged as kids they "don't get it". It would probably be to their advantage to be put in trusts but if your brother just wants it over and done with it's his choice. He would be smart to seek legal advice before he does anything. I've opted out of this question so other experts can reply to your question and you may want to repost it to our legal experts.

Customer:

Thank you. However, as this is a high priority matter and must be dealt with immediately, ....why have I not heard from anyone else in order to respond to our questions?

Customer:

It has been 2 days now, when will I hear from someone else?

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