Author Topic: Missing a brother, grandson and nephew  (Read 862 times)

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Missing a brother, grandson and nephew
« on: May 01, 2010, 05:26:01 AM »

After thinking a long time, and looking around the internet, I came across this forum and the name intrigued me. I read a bit and decided this was the one to join in an effort to collect advice and ideas for a family issue that seems to have no solution.

By joining this forum I am executing one of our family's strategy decisions to speak out publicly in order to alleviate some emotional tension and as well, to seek out ideas, strategies and solutions, to try to learn from others who have dealt with similar traumatic situations.

To condense a long story, my family is trying to help my 18 year old niece re-establish contact with her 7 year old brother. They have been separated from each other against their will for the past 7 months.

My sister (his mother), claims that our family is intent on destroying her life. Hence she, her husband and 7 year old son have disappeared and the children, brutally separated because my niece refused to follow them.

In reality my sister is married to a con artist and identity thief who has had an affect on our family as well as her husband's, not to mention what that means for the well-being of the children. My family chose to speak out about this. So we believe the current separation from our family is linked to the truths we exposed, and which my sister refuses to accept. She was very suspicious about her husband for some time and even asked us to check out things that didn't add up for her. Why she decided full-knowing to ignore the proof, we do not know. At one point she said that even if her husband did anything wrong, it was certainly in the best interests of their family.

We know there are illicit financial issues afflicting my sister and her husband that undoubtedly link back to his issues with identity theft, credit card abuse, bankruptcy, etc.

The one person in the family who could do something - having real legal claims and proof, backed out in the end. When you are only 16 and go on to spend the next 10 years trying to prove your father destroyed your credit rating before you were even old enough to open a bank account, it's not unusual to give up, especially when solutions take so long to obtain.

That is the case of my brother in law's son from a previous marriage and with whom I'd been in contact and tried to help. We went as far as speaking with the detective assigned to his case. When the time came to file a claim against his father, he backed out.

It seems that 90% of identity theft cases concerning family members take the same route. It's not difficult to understand why.

I have contacted my brother in law's immediate family whose story sounds exactly like ours. Just the names dates and places have been changed. They are direct victims of credit card abuse and ID theft who decided to wash their hands of the situation, believing there were no solutions, that they would never see their new grandson and nephew, and following the death of a family member who was sadly buried with debts he could have never made...

But one member of that family is trying to help as I am, for the sake of the children. That is part of what inspires me to write on this forum. Perhaps together, we'll be able to affect some positive changes.

We were able to locate where both my sister and husband had been living and working until a few weeks ago. We did not let them know this however. It has been comforting for my niece to know her brother is in State.

They have since quit their jobs and we do not know if they will leave town or the state. We do know however the type of business they have chosen to go into. My father received a change of address notification this week which means they are moving. We are not sure how to keep tabs on them now.

We are intending to make a family blog to make sure the little boy we all cherish, knows one day how much we are all trying.

My niece wants to make good on a promise she made to her brother:  to always be there to protect him. That is a promise my family takes seriously - and that my niece believes is necessary. We don't believe there is any physical abuse of the children, we have reason to believe there is and has been a high level of psychological abuse. We also believe that my sister whose personality has radically changed over the years, is a victim of emotional manipulation. This is all very difficult to prove...

My parents have housed, clothed and fed the children for years. My younger sister housed them and their parents for four months in 2009. My parents spent many months taking care of the kids following my brother in law's job loss last year - he was let go after having been caught claiming fake business expense reimbursements. That was the second time we know of. We have a copy of that notification which was given to us by my sister, strangely enough.

Now that I have exposed a very light version of our story these are my questions:

1) If my parents thought they had a chance, they would file for grandparent visitation rights. Under what conditions can they do so? My niece has no rights and the only way to bring the two kids back together would be grandparent visitation rights.

My parents have paid for home school education of the children, summer camps, flights,  and covered their dental and doctor expenses without having ever asked to be reimbursed. They have sent money for rent, food and clothing over the past ten years, paid electric bills and insurance.
They are now paying for the education of my niece, totally abandoned without any forewarning and with whom she now lives. She has no contact with her real father.

2) My parents have two letters from my brother in law recognizing that he abused their credit card and stating his intention to pay back every dime (around $20 thousand). Is this sufficient enough to file any claims? Our goal is not to be paid back any money but to force issues out in the open. We had impressed upon my sister the possibility of helping her husband "get better" through real counseling and therapy. Our family accused him, but not without offering solutions. He has made two suicide attempts. Our worry is not without reason...

3) Which way to go? My parents are out over one hundred thousand dollars. It's scary and expensive to find good legal help. We are truly worried, losing sleep and increasingly losing time because we cannot find a legal foot to stand on.

My father has been to attorneys and other advisors. We seem to have little "proof" solid enough that the law would consider legitimate in terms of the well-being of the children, even though we know the children are suffering.

What we do have are copies of police reports made by his son who dropped his case, assorted bills, documents from creditors, (hundreds piling up at my parents' address), bankruptcy documents, repossession notifications... parents's bank statements showing social security numbers and names that shouldn't be there...

That is our story in a nutshell. Everyone is distressed over the rupture in the family - we don't seem to have the profile for this kind of thing to happen to us.

My family is an education and healthy child-oriented, middle class family. My mother immigrated young to America, her kids well-being always came first. Even if she and my father couldn't eat we did, and though we understood there were hard times, my parents never let us suffer from that.

I do believe my sister is aware of the truth, but that her goal is to prove we are wrong, not lose the husband she certainly loves and believes makes her happy.

I also believe that she could no longer afford the cost of two children, and that it was financially convenient seven months ago to blame her daughter for things she couldn't be responsible for and then drop her off at my parents and disappear.

Of course she knows the family would never abandon her daughter. Perhaps therein is the positive side to the story because my niece is now finally in a normal school, developing some very fine talent she has, working and in therapy. She finds time every day to be happy but everything is colored by the injustice she feels has been imposed on her, and the promise she made to her brother that she has not been able to come through on.

If anyone on the forum has ideas, suggestions and recommendations I am all ears. Are there any legal rights to be found here and in particular, when we, as family members are truly worried about the well-being of other family members, children or adults?

Though I tried to be short and concise, this text is rather long.

Many thanks to anyone out there who took the time to read my story.

Offline Pen

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Re: Missing a brother, grandson and nephew
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2010, 07:21:00 AM »
Nectar, welcome. You've got a lot going on, and my heart goes out to you and your family. I don't personally have experience with this, but someone here may. What I can do is offer support and kindness. One thing I do know from reading here is that grandparents rights are different in every state. I'm assuming you're in the US, but if not you'll have to find out the laws in your country/province.

Please stay with us as you continue your journey, and let us know how you fare. Best wishes.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


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Re: Missing a brother, grandson and nephew
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2010, 08:23:49 AM »
Welcome Nectar,I'm sorry your having to go thru all awfully stressful!

I really dont have any ideas to offer about legal matters,but we do have one Wise woman,Orly who seems to know a lot about legal issue's.Hopefully she will come thru and read this,and can offer some advice.

Sending prayers and blessings to you and family


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Re: Missing a brother, grandson and nephew
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2010, 01:26:48 PM »
Welcome, Nectar.  So glad you decided to join us and hope someone comes through with real answers for you.  You write well - very articulate!  Such a sad situation - deep and complex.  Your bil is truly in need of help and it seems he has caused psychological damage to his family.  I wouldn't trust anything he does, even his intention with his suicide attempts.  They may have come from true despair, or they could have been a means of control over your sister.  This is way above my head.  All I can offer you is my heart and compassion.  You are in a safe place to share and if nothing else, find comfort from others who care.  Your family seems like they are more than willing to do everything they can to help and I see that as coming from your giving, loving parents.  I wish you all the best and a bright and righteous outcome.  Hugs, Hope


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Re: Missing a brother, grandson and nephew
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2010, 03:08:24 PM »
Hi everybody,
Sorry I've been missing from the site....been helping my oldest move.

Honey, I'm going through this same situation with my husband's sister.  We have just reached the point that we are not going to tolerate it anymore (after years of abuse and theft).  The family has FINALLY come to the altar of "If you do the crime, you do the time", not only has this woman stolen all of her mother's money, abused mom, and dumped her on another sister's front stoop with only her dog, some ratty clothes and medicine for two weeks. (My MIL has dementia due to a stroke), she has taken over mom's id.  She is now trying to get custody of MIL again.  We will be going to court. (This final matter has been on-going for the last three years).  Everyone has finally taken enough and the "stuff" is hitting the fan.

 It is a long hard road to take, but it is necessary to do so.  If you have those letters of admissions pursue it to the utmost limit that you can.  Talk to the person that has dropped the matter into continuing it.  Get the id matter cleaned up, because it will continue if you do not.  Not only has your in-law taken over a child's credit rating and good name, it is most likely that it has happened to other people your in-law knows.  (My sister-in-law went on to scam 28,000. dollars out of someone else and cause her into lose her home.)  Sometimes it is hard to do that which you know is the only right way to go.....if family will not stop the person doing the deed ....then who will? 

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Missing a brother, grandson and nephew
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2010, 09:57:02 AM »
I can't add anything to what Orly wrote except "Amen." It's going to be hard to be pro-active. Please stay in close touch so we can support you. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama