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 Post subject: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:14 pm 
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My son lives with my estranged ex wife. I tell him to honor his mother. But what protection does he have in the Catholic faith? The wife is obedient to the husband, but what about the son. She abuses him by taking his money. Does the Catholic faith give him a recourse?


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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:25 pm 
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How old is he?

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:50 pm 
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19 and he makes money from rental units. But she has access to his accounts and steals his money. I know about honor the mother. But does the mother have a duty to the son? Please, I need to help him


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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:57 am 
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Well, if she's stealing money it doesn't matter a whole awful lot whether she's stealing it from her son or from a stranger. It's wrong and may be illegal, unless, I suppose, her name is on the account. If it is, why is it? He's an adult now.

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:02 am 
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If he allows her to have access to his accounts, it's not really stealing, is it? He's at least tacitly giving her permission.

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:17 am 
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Not unless there is a specific, not tacit, agreement on use of the monies. Access does not equate to permission. And the word "steal" indicates lack of permission.

I understand that, legally, a joint account (which is what seems to be the case here) is joint -- meaning the money is joint. But ethically, unless specified, it is not.

DW and I were joint on our son's accounts ... one to this day. Because our sons were all over the world and we had discussed having access to their money -- with permission to spend it to handle a financial issue of theirs. Twice I inadvertently made an online payment with one son's account. I immediately transferred money from my account to his, notified him, and added a buck or two for interest. And apologized.

Our arrangement, BTW, was quite convenient. When a son insisted on paying for some thing or t'other, and did so, to our chagrin, I'd just transfer money to his account to cover it.

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Last edited by Highlander on Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:18 am 
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Peregrinator wrote:
If he allows her to have access to his accounts, it's not really stealing, is it? He's at least tacitly giving her permission.

True, I guess. I was responding to the way the OP put it in his second post.

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:19 am 
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Highlander wrote:
Access does not equate to permission.

It does if one doesn't do anything do revoke that access (assuming it's not under duress).

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:25 am 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Highlander wrote:
Access does not equate to permission.

It does if one doesn't do anything do revoke that access (assuming it's not under duress).

I made the legal versus ethical distinction.

And I presented a case where access did not equal permission -- except under specific circumstances -- where I was acting as an agent for the primary account holder. The case presented to us states theft which implies lack of permission.

Th solution is trivial. One account holder, the son, removes all of the funds and sets up another account without his mother being joint. They now have a joint account with no money and he has an account with all of the money. That action does not dishonor the mother; it seems that it does honor her by eliminating an opportunity for her to steal. It's not complicated.

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:29 am 
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I agree with your solution. And if the son wishes for his mother to continue to have access to some of his money, he can allocate the deposits accordingly.

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:41 am 
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Exactly. If it is indeed his, and funds from the Mother are not mixed into the account, then he can apportion it as he sees fit.

The case presented is a personal, family one. I do find it interesting that there may be an element of entitlement by the mother. And I find that, contemporaneously, entitlement to the property of the state or a business or another person is rife. I again refer to DW, a middle school teacher, who observed, over her career of some decades, that entitlement to school and other persons' property increased.

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:52 am 
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Honestly my question was more general. She does a lot of things that are wrong as a parent. And I tell my son to honor her because that is the Catholic tradition. But does she have an obligation to HIM in the Catholic tradition? That was my real question.


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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:53 am 
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Would she care if she did?

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:57 am 
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The short answer is that most parental duties the Church has specified focus on young children. Once the child is grown, it seems to me like the main duty of the parent to the child is to "regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons." CCC 2222

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:22 am 
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If she is providing for him--e.g., he lives with her rent-free--then he continues to have obligations to her. This doesn't give her the right to take advantage of him, but he might feel constrained by things she reasonably asks.

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:40 am 
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This discussion is based upon a dearth of information. I, in particular, am filling the void with my own prejudices and guesses.

I'd say that honoring your parent does not mean being materially subservient to your parent -- particularly as an adult. I'd also say that one of the obligations of a parent is to not steal money from their children -- that is what OPer asserted.

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:56 am 
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I agree on all points (including the dearth).

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:40 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I agree on all points (including the dearth).


I humbly suggest “smidgen” would be a better descriptor than “dearth.” :fyi:

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:49 pm 
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Mmmmmmmmmm ... smidgen.

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 Post subject: Re: Son with divorced mother
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:38 pm 
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Or "paucity". Paucity is good.

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Benedicamus Domino!
~Hilaire Belloc

Semper Fi!


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