"Don't ask a child a question if you don't mean for the child to have a choice in the matter. "

Custody Decision For 17 YO

Question

John,
I have read many of your books and listen to your podcast regularly. I am a Christian and agree with your biblical parenting principles.
However, I am divorce from an atheist and he is often not on the same page. He also controls most of the financial decisions for the kids. He gave both children cars, phones, as well as extremely generous monthly allowances.
I told my kids from a young age I would not give them more than $40 a month. If they wanted more, they would have to get a job. Obviously, their father did not agree.
I have a 17 y/o daughter and a 20 y/o son.
My daughter babysits a little and my son has never had a job outside of working a little for his dad.

Recently, I found Juuls and empty alcohol bottles in my daughters room. She is also disrespectful and locks her door often. Her behavior only got worse when she began seeing her counselor more often. She sees her for anxiety.

One night, I had enough and removed her door from her room. She took pictures of me and called me a psychopath. She then got into an Uber, that her grandmother pays for, and went to her dads house.

Her father is now suing me for full legal and physical custody of her. He also wants me to pay his legal fees.
My daughter gave an affidavit that stated she wanted to leave with her dad until she graduated from HS in 2021.
She also insist on continuing to see the very counselor that cause some of these issues. I fired the counselor three weeks ago.

Please tell me how I should proceed from here.

At my wits end,
Dawn

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