The Sassy Housewife is a weekly advice column from We will cover adventures in parenting, relationships and entertaining.

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Dear Sassy Housewife,

My ex-wife and I have joint custody over our two teenage kids — daughter, 17, and son 15. She has completely kicked my 17-year-old daughter out of her house a few weeks ago, and no longer wants her to come to her house and is suggesting I do the same.

Our daughter is a troubled teen — failing school, getting fired from jobs, running the streets with her friends, not minding curfews and has legal issues with a court hearing for assault coming up at the end of July.

At any rate, my ex thinks I shouldn’t allow her in my house at all until she proves she can be responsible. I just don’t have the heart to leave my child homeless and it is becoming stressful for my life as I get no help from my ex-wife for the day-to-day expenses for either child now for their daily needs. Can I have the law “force” her to help me? Should I take back to court and sue for full custody? What are my options as a dad?


Hi there. 

My recommendation would be to talk to a lawyer. They can help you out with custody and the possibility of child support. If you're in Nebraska and can't afford one, contact Legal Aid of Nebraska.

Right now, your daughter needs you. Teens don't have the mental capacity yet to make good, rational decisions. They are impulsive, often not thinking of how their decisions will affect them or others in the future. 

Give your daughter all the support you can give her. But also set rules. Let her know she's welcome to stay at your house, but no drugs. No guys. No sneaking out. She has to check in with you every day. 

You might also see about having your daughter visit with a therapist. Talking to someone other than family might be good for her. There are also a lot of residential treatment centers for troubled teens around the area. If she continues breaking rules, this might be a good option. 

Above all, be open and honest with her. Make sure she knows how much you love her, how you want the best for her and you'll do whatever you have to. Because you're her dad and won't give up on her. 

She might not thank you right now. She might even get really upset with you. But she'll thank you someday.

Good luck!

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