I am not sure of all the legal issues, but there were papers signed, first wife sent them over for family to see. And I don't think legally he has his rights back, but is just paying her the court awarded child support in return she is allowing them to visit his family for special occassions, like Grandparent's birthdays and family reunions. They still do not stay with with him and his new wife, but rather and aunt and uncle because second wife doesn't know about this new arrangement. The family was very insistent that he at least live up to his financial obligations and are hoping to get him further into their lives, but have no clue how to do it.
It really makes me want to cry when I think of it too, especially considering the son doesn't have much time left on this earth and I think the father is going to regret this for the rest of his life. Most think he's so dumb that he always needs someone telling him what to do, but the ones he ripped off think he might be smarter than they give him credit for. I've known him for 27 years now and he was always so sweet and well dumb, so I sometimes just think he really doesn't know how to stand up for himself. This of course is still no excuse. I haven't seen him since this I found out about this and always wonder what I would say if I ran into him. Because I do not condone this behavior.
And as for my sister keeping out of it, please, she's the ringleader. Her and her husband are the new "patriarchs" in the family as the parents are getting too old to really keep things in line and my sister has always relished being in charge.
So that's why I wonder if she hasn't taken this out of control by not letting them attend family functions and when they should let them back into the fold. Oh, and yes the others have a choice to see him and have chosen not too, but I think if my sister and the oldest sister of the siblings decided it was ok the rest would follow suit. Do they deserve to be let back in and if not what would make this better? These are the questions I can't figure out.