DEAR ABBY: Two years ago my family had a run of bad luck, which landed us in a homeless shelter. I got an apartment fairly quickly, and it's mine and my daughter's.
My mother was supposed to move in rent-free, but she brought her boyfriend, who I didn't want here. He's still here and barely contributes to the expenses. I recently lost my job and he promised to help out more financially, but he hasn't. He continues to mooch. This has caused so much stress between my mother and me. "Hate" is a strong word, but I hate him and want him out. He knows it, but makes no effort to leave. What can I do? -- WANTING MY OWN SPACE
DEAR WANTING: You are not helpless, and you shouldn't be held hostage because of your mother's feelings for her deadbeat boyfriend. Contact your state bar association to see what your legal rights are. Then tell your mother you want him out, give her a deadline to see that it happens, and suggest that she go with him if she can't bear to be separated from him. If he doesn't meet the deadline, put his belongings in a box, place them outside and change your locks.