I'm not so new to the forum, and love to read discussions on this board. I would like some advice on my family issue. It's a long story though...
I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not I should let my older sister and my niece (8 years old) live me. She's going through a divorce as her soon to be ex husband left her for another woman (after being together for 16 years). She's been a homemaker for the last 7 years, but has also been going through schooling (last three years) to become a teacher. She currently resides in FL, and I live in CA. He's moved to CA (about a year ago) and has been in the process of trying to get her to move out to CA too. She needs to finish her schooling to receive her teaching certificate.
My husband and I live in a home. I work fulltime and I will start school part time next week. My husband works part time and working to find a full time career (he's tries to pick up as much shifts as he can). Hubby has his reservations too (he loves my family, but is a bit weary of having them move in). In order to help out with finances, we also have a roommate who rents one of the bedrooms. Our roommate is respectful, courteous, and has become a friend of ours over the year.
The reason why I have my reservations of having my sister live us, is because we just don't have the room for a family of two (sis and niece), plus us, and our roommate. My sister's ex's family has offered to let her rent out a vacant house for super cheap so that she can save her monies and eventually move out to CA. There's no bad blood between her and ex in laws, but the divorce looks like its going to turn into a ugly one...Her soon to be ex husband just served her papers stating that he does not want to pay alimony (only child support). She's furious and really doesn't want to fight him. She doesn't want her daughter to be in middle of an ugly battle. I've suggested to her that she needs to get a lawyer and the lawyer can fight for her. But she doesn't have the funds nor the will power to fight. She's also asked for money (which I have none to give).
My further reservations of having my sister and niece live with us is... I feel like if I were to offer for her to live with us, even though I would set ground rules of move-out date, rent price (I wouldn't charge her much. Most likely free for first month, and then little rent the following months) that her living with us would be indefinite. It's mostly because something always comes up where she doesn't have the monies, or a job, or whatever. When she asked for money, she also went to her dad, friends, etc. - who all turned her down. Even my mom called me to say to not give her money and that she needed to learn to stand on her own two feet. I get the "give a man to fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" - but jeez, if you don't have ANYONE to turn to at the worst point in your life...doesn't that just stop someone in their tracks? Her soon to be ex has a job as a flight attendant and doesn't have a consistent schedule to take on my niece full time - even though he's offered to do so (which is stupid, bc who's going to take care of her when he's gone on trips?). And to top it all off...my sister is also a recovering alcoholic and I know she has her bad days...
The worst part of all this, is that this affects an innocent child, my niece. Her grandparents (ex's parents) in FL have been helping out, but they're getting old, so that they can't do much lately. Our parents live oversees and my sis and niece are no way in hell moving in with them. I think the best option would be to have her move in the vacant home that her inlaws have offered (which her ex is absolutely livid about), and it's located in the hometown of her ex - a whole other looong story.
Ugh, I don't know what to do. And feel really guilty for even having reservations. But I do.
Thank you for your time.