Questions and Insights


by Joy Loverde

As the author of The Complete Eldercare Planner and online elder care columnist geared toward questions and insights with Joy Loverde, eldercarepeople who are caring for aging parents, I’ve been asked some interesting questions. The depth of where our caregiving journeys will lead us never ceases to amaze me. This blog offers insights into the complex elder care process.

Question: I am 32 years old and own my own house. My family; father, mother, two sisters, and my brother in law, live with me in this house.  All of us (siblings) are at the point in our lives where we are trying to establish ourselves. Some are pursuing advanced degrees and others professional practice.

The issue is that my father is a bit dictatorial in his interactions with us. He feels that no one should move out of the house whether it be to pursue education or a job. The situation is somewhat serious in that none of us have a relationship with him for this reason.  On the other hand all of us have a great relationship with each other. We are able to talk and listen and support each other in every way possible. My father is the only...sorry to say... destructive force...always becoming a hurdle in any progress.

My question is...what are my legal rights or otherwise... in terms of getting him to move out of my house...It should be noted that this move of his out of the house should happen in a quick fashion...meaning in one instant...and not take many he has the potential to want to do as much damage as he can to the family structure and house itself before leaving.

Answer: You ask what legal angle can be used to remove your father from your house, and the answer to your question is... there is no legal recourse. Why? Because you do not have a legal issue on your hands.  Your father is family (like it or not). He is not trespassing. He is not paying rent and not late with his rent checks, and because he is family, what you are facing is a domestic family matter. One that requires AND DESERVES serious consideration before you take action.

That being said, if you decide to remove your father from your home, then the method of accomplishing that goal simply becomes a matter of choice. Begin the process by gathering the rest of the family together and conduct a family meeting (do not invite your father, of course). Talk through several options. Write down the pros and cons of each option; then do what all of you feel is the best way to carry out the plan.

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