What should I do about my step daughter?

My husband got custody of his daughter when she was 7. I came into the picture when she was 8 and have raised her as my own since (She's now 17) and we've always had a typical Mother/Daughter relationship, neither of us refer to the other as Step. Her Mother passed of a drug overdose so she gets Social Security deposited into a bank account with my husbands name to be used for her. In November of last year she began seeing a boy (18) that we really liked at first but we soon started noticing things such as him being very controlling, Wanting to know where she is all times and screaming at her if she didn't text him back immediately. This past January we told her he wasn't welcome at our house for a while because of his behavior and she flipped, yelling and screaming. She asked when she could move out and her Dad told her if she couldn't follow rules and be respectful she could leave and he couldn't stop her, She left with her boyfriend that night. She called wanting the bank card and my husband told her he wouldn't give her the card because the account was in his name and couldn't be turned over to her name until she turns 18 but that as long as she stays in school and maintains her grades (She was passing all of her classes at home) he would withdraw it every month for her but if doesn't do her classes online (virtual school) or drops out the money gets put into savings every month and she gets it when she turns 18 this November. She attempted school for maybe a total of 2 weeks, She had well over 100 absences and her highest grade was a 15 before she dropped out in April so her money had been put into savings since then. Now she is threatening to take us to family court and her and her boyfriend are harassing us constantly. My Husband says he's sticking to his guns, He told her what would happen if she quit and he meant it. At this point, I'm ready to draw it out for her to end the drama! What would y'all do??

!!! Stand by your husband.

She may be threatening court, but she is not 18 yet, so legally speaking y’all have rights to it, because she is not legally responsible for herself.

As well, you guys are clearly trying to do what’s best for her by encouraging her to stay away from his abusive ways, and encouraging her to stay in school, but she 8s not taking it seriously and defying you. And that’s not going to help her and she needs to understand this is her consequence. There will be many times in life her choices will cause her financial turmoil and she needs to understand it’s up to her to get herself out. If y’all don’t stick to this it will only enable her to keep making the wrong choice.

I’d say even after she’s 18 if it were me, I’d hold on to it and save it for her, but not let her access it. Because one day when she realizes he is a bad dude, she’s gonna need the money to get away from him. And she will so much appreciate that it was saved for her…

And this is coming from a woman who ran away when I was 16 and ended up pregnant by a man who 13 years later is still in and out of jail or homeless on drugs.

She hates you right now… But stand strong on this. She will thank you later.

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If the social security check is in her name then there’s really nothing dad can do. It’ll be considered theft on his end.

You do know it isn’t her it is the boyfriend and when that money stops at 18 because she is no longer a child, he will dump her right now he is her cash cow. Don’t give her the money side with your husband

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It isn’t in her name because she is anorexic it comes in the name of the father to be used to care for the child

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It’s not theft on his end. He is legally responsible for her.

At least until she’s 18 and in this case, there is valid evidence to showcase that she is being irresponsible and can’t take care of herself.

Unless she gets a job, gets her GED and produces a transcript, and has bills in her name. In which case, she could then get emancipated, and fight this in court, but again. She has to do that first.

The surviving parent gets the SS check until she’s 18. I would definitely KEEP that money for her…until she’s 18. Then the checks stop anyway. She can just deal with it till then.

#1: her asking when she can move out and him replying “I can’t stop you”. Basically him admitting he’s powerless over his own daughter. Which technically he is, but the correct answer should have been when she’s 18. That way she has a place to go to get a break from her abusive boyfriend - who she may not see as abusive yet but she will do, when she has a chance to get away from him and realises she feels safer/relief. But not anymore she won’t

#2: not educating her about the fact she’s in an abusive relationship. Not educating her about domestic violence, healthy vs unhealthy behaviours. In UK we have women’s aid who can help with providing materials for this education. Why was she never taught this when charities help do it for free?

#3: her mum died of a drug overdose. I’m assuming she’s had years of therapy? Drug education? The family looked up charities that help with bereavement due to drugs? Charities for young people, children, who have lost their mother and helps with the massive massive impact that has on a child?

#4: her mother dying is a childhood trauma, likely she has an abandonment wound. This means she’ll have an intense fear of abandonment, hence her getting extremely stressed when you said her BF wasn’t welcome. She doesn’t want to do anything or have anything happen that may make him leave her like her mother did. I’d consider educating yourself and your husband about all of this also, not just educating her. That way you understand better why her behaviour has changed. The girl won’t care about school when she’s in survival mode, when her nervous system is fighting for its life.

#5: is drug overdose considered suicide? If so you should know her statistical chances of suicide go way up since her mother died that way. So sending her out on her own in the world with an abusive guy and no money and PERHAPS having her think she can’t get support and love and safety from yourselves might not be the best idea. Her statistical chance of being a drug user is also higher, especially if she’s out on her own, not going to school etc. I would be very worried about her. Not considering “ending the drama”. This girl has been your responsibility for 10 years. She’s still a child and you are just worried about the drama? What have you taught her to set her up to succeed in life? Doesn’t look like much to me!!

#6: it’s technically her money. I don’t like the whole “stay in school and you’ll get money that you were given because your mum died”. It feels icky. Like as if she only deserves to have money to be able to have a nice quality of life if she DOES something to earn it. Like her being alive isn’t enough of a reason to have a nice quality of life? And her dad using that reason to keep it from her sounds like conditional love. How about saying “we love you so much and are worried about you with this abusive, controlling guy. Please come back home where we can keep you safe and teach you about healthy and unhealthy relationships, help you meet some new friends etc”. I mean I haven’t heard concern expressed about this girl yet.