Been married 13 yrs, I encouraged husband to keep his dad in his life even tho he didn't want to. Fast forward 7 yrs. Husband gets sick and disabled, I become FT caregiver and work FT. No physical or emotional help from father in law, only some money sent now and then. Jump ahead 7 more yrs. Husband and I enter into a poly relationship because he saw how I was physically drained and lonely yet love him. Jump ahead a few months, our partner and his additional caregiver is too overwhelmed that we get adult protective services involved to try to get help. Sick hubby and I separate not divorce, but we talk and I still run him everywhere...he refused closer better homes opting for a hotel so he can keep our dog. I was sexually assaulted and did not text him like I always did cause I was trying to deal.
I check on him cause I had a bad feeling when he didn't answer my belated message and find him in a coma. I sit by him for a week, his dad never came but I kept his dad updated. He miraculously wakes. Jump forward a few weeks, he gets admitted to a nursing home for rehab over a 90min drive from me, but right by his dad....he was still very confused. A BIMs score of only like 25 out of 45....anyway...I can visit weekly. His dad now suddenly becomes involved trying to get me to get him deemed incompetent. I say lets wait. He goes behind my back to see how to. When he finds he cant take guardianship by force he starts telling his son I am just after his SSD check (I make 4x that in a month) and making various promises. In the mean time telling the staff how horrible I am, and telling me this is all my doing that I'm abusive and horrible!
My husband text me asking to protect him from his dad. I contact the facility and frequently am met with hostile tones and little to no info (I'm his 1st contact, his dad is #2) and husband tells me he feels like the staff are on his dad's side. I keep finding out about apts after the fact while they make arrangements with his dad to take him. I asked for a copy of his records (I'm his wife, payee, DPOA (if incompetent) even before the coma). I am met with hostility again and told due to the dynamic I can not get anything without meeting with the director of nursing 1st. His dad keeps telling him he will pick where he goes after this and he got a form (hubby doesn't know what it is) that his dad got from the facility to have his DR fill out and yet again I am left in the dark as is my husband. I offered to come there (partly cause I want to know what his dad is trying to pull, but also cause I want to take my hubby out to lunch and drive him back) his dad told him no that if I want to see him I can see him after he gets back to the facility.
Husband also informed me a staff member told him he shouldn't worry about giving up his rights. I feel like I am in a uphill battle to fill my husband's wishes and my in-law has the advantage because he's retired, is close and has $$, while I work full time and am a nurse. What are me and my husbands rights? can the home really prevent me from getting this info. Is all this legal. I know meds, not legalities. Oh and father in law asking all sorts of things about my personal life I believe to try to make me appear immoral or something. All I know is all this made me know I can never see myself not married to my husband, and that I have to protect him. What can I do? What are our rights when my husband is so weak and it seems like the whole world is fighting us?? (FYI im 33, he's 37)
You need to get an attorney, asap. If I interpreted what you wrote correctly and you have DPOA, then you are in charge.
Your lifestyle, as long as it did not harm your husband, will have nothing to do with the DPOA.
If your husband has not been deemed incompetent and he still trusts you with DPOA, the attorney will document this.
The problem is that lawyers do cost money. Still, just a few hours work involving a few phone calls to the appropriated agencies, may be all that is needed.
Attorneys charge $200 to $700 per hour. Most will give a one hour free consult. You can ask for their hourly rate, and whether or not they think your rights are being violated.
Please do not wait, call one, now. And, yes, stop talking to the medical staff and your FIL until after you talk to several attorneys with a free consult.
Your respective rights would also be something that should be addressed by an attorney; the situation is too complex now for us to speculate, particularly since there is a third party involved, and since you separated, and since the coma occurred during your absence (was the third party there then?). Lots to consider in this complex situation.
I agree with CM; I suspect that FIL is offended if not incensed at the thought of another party involved in the relationship between you and your husband, especially since, based on what you write, I'm assuming the third person is for your benefit. FIL probably sees this as your lover living with you right in front of his son.
Could you explain this: "...our partner and his additional caregiver is too overwhelmed that we get adult protective services involved to try to get help." Did either of the 3 of you contact APS? If so, there's probably already a file, and it may indicate that a third party is involved in more than a caregiving relationship with your and your husband.
Those records should be privileged, so FIL shouldn't have had access. But there might be neighbors who have been wagging their moral tongues and keeping him informed.
One comment on Ahmi's advice, which is always good. DO NOT speak with FIL, even if there's a witness present. Consider the Miranda warning: anything you say can (and probably would be) used against you. Communicate with him through an attorney, which I think you definitely need at this point, not only to address your legal standing but also because I suspect FIL is going to create some publicity.
Ask your attorney to notify the rehab facility as well that FIL may be engaging in libelous and slanderous behavior, and they should be cautioned against relying on his comments.
Ahmijoy and CM both make good points. I too am wondering how long you might want to stay in this relationship, although you're committed, but clearly there are some physical and emotional impediments b/c of the need for a poly relationship as well as FIL's involvement.
Are your funds secured? If FIL "took over", would your husband's condition require full time care for the rest of his life? At 33, it sounds as if he has some serious medical issues.
And I suppose there's even a possibility he could recover and return to the marriage?
But, definitely get an attorney. I'm not sure which would be the best practice area, matrimonial (divorce) perhaps, but I don't think an elder law attorney would have too much to offer in this unique situation.
If you have other friends engaged in this kind of 3-person arrangement, ask them if they have attorneys who've helped them with challenges from "straight" society.
Do you mean that you were living with your partner in the same house as your disabled husband?
Do you think that might go some way towards explaining your father in law's hostility and disapproval? Perhaps the old man is not so understanding and enlightened as your husband.
It may also have more to do with the fact that in your care your disabled, separated husband ended up comatose. I'm very sorry that you had trauma and distress of your own to cope with, that certainly explains why you weren't there for him in that moment. But all the same, you *weren't* there, and he suffered because of it. If that man were your son, you'd fight for him, too.
Why not let your FIL take over? Do you suspect your FIL of some kind of ulterior motive? You and your husband had already separated, so it isn't as though you have an alternative home environment to offer him. What is your better plan for his care?
Your best bet is to contact an attorney who can make sure all your paperwork is in order and valid, and perhaps contact FIL to let him know he has no legal rights with your hubby, and that if he continues to “talk smack” about you at the facility, you will pursue legal action against him.