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Old 06-10-2007, 02:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question My children's father is a functional alcoholic and may be endangering our children

I've been divorced from my ex-husband for 5 years, since then, we've been in this custody battle of our 6 years old twins. I'm not against having my children be in contact with their father, I know they need both of us, but the problem is that he is a heavy drinker, when we were married he used to drink as soon as he came from work, and did not stop until he went to bed, (never before midnight). It was like that the 11 years I was living with him, and he said he started drinking when he was 15, he is 50 now. He went to see a couple of psychiatrist before for his alcohol problem, but he never stayed for the alcohol treatment, always found an excuse for not continuing. We went to a few marriage counselours, and they all told us, if he doesn't take care of his alcohol problem, no matter how many times we go for counseling, it will never work. Obviously it happened exactly like that, we got divorce when our children just turned 1 year. The problem is, I can't prove to the court he has alcohol problems, since the only DUI he has it's over 15 years old; and so far....."he has not killed anybody". In the meantime, I only have to pray everytime my children are with their father overnight (1st, 3rd & 5th weekend of each month). Eventhough the Court ordered him not to drink in front of the children, he still does it. When my children were little, they used to say daddy drinks apple juice like them, but he put ice. Now, they're 6, so that apple juice is "whiskey" now, dad drinks whiskey, and then he drives, but he doesn't get involved into any accident because he wears glasses, that's what he tells them. I'm completaly scared, I notice he's been having little blackouts here and there, like forgetting things, when we go to court, the judge has to repeat things more than once. It's embarrassing but most of it it's completally dangeours, not only for himself, but worstly for our children. I don't know what to do, we will be going to court again in about a week, since he's been asking for more time with the children, that way he won't have to pay child support. I feel really frustrated, I feel like my hands are tied, and I can't protect my children, I have called the police on him a couple of times, and all they said is, he doesn't look drunk, he never look like drunk, but I knew he was. I don't know what to do, I'm scared.
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Old 06-10-2007, 03:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow I am sorry you are going through this...You have to be able to prove to the court that he is endangering them. I am not sure how the court system works but could he have supervised visits? Or possibly the children can testify that daddy drinks "whiskey" and drives?
I would hate to be in your situation knowing that my twins were in danger when with their father. I understand you would like them to have a relationship with their father but if he takes their lives, (god forbid) they wont have relationships with anyone. You would never forgive yourself and neither would he.
Because the court has ordered that he not drink cant they check up on it during a visit?
Do something now....
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Old 06-10-2007, 03:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know what to suggest either, but I did want to say I know the frustration of not having "proof". My exAH is so similar to everything you describe (except that our children are older which helps prevent your current problem). He also was the boss at work (just sold the business and works for larger company that bought them doing same thing) and makes a very good living. But at home,it started to become a nightmare. Same as you described and started getting mean and bossy,etc. It was our word over his;esp. when we went to a counselor. People think the kids I I "over-reacted" and exaggerated,etc (basically called the kids liars,etc which was sad when they told his dad and brother and sister). Since then we have gotten help and don't try to "convince" anyone,although it would have been nice when he took me to divorce court. It is frustrating and made me second-guess myself for a long,long time.

My exAH also would drive sometimes and never "looked" drunk but he had no business being on the road. He still does it and argues that he can drive perfectly well,etc. and the anger is as much a problem as the drinking (behind the wheel or not).

Hey, just remembered something; I just saw a devise on TV that the courts in California have that perhaps he could wear....ankle braclet that detects alcohol. A long-shot but maybe since he isn't supposed to drink when they are there,it is a possibility? Maybe worth checking into with the court/your attorney?

Good luck!
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Old 06-10-2007, 03:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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p.s. I forgot my manners....Welcome,Light! I'm so glad you found us and hope you will stick around!
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Old 06-10-2007, 04:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How is functional and endagering able to go in the same sentence?

If they kids are in danger, the guy aint functioning. Here in my ciity courts, I told the family court judhe my ex is a drunk and fave testimony as to what he has done, she offered a guardian ad litem on the spot, a legal representative for my son who performs a full back ground investigation with every human being that comes into contact with the child on a daily basis.

Thats how the proof with come. I suggest you confer with a lawyer and or thereapist on your legal options. Good luck and welcome! PS...also get to alanon!
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Old 06-10-2007, 04:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Unhappy The legal system

Welcome, the legal system can be as frustrating and unfair as living with an A. Make sure your lawyer knows everything you know. Don't feel like the lone ranger. When children are involved, I hate to tell people to pray. It should be like "grab the kids and run" but that rarely works and then you are in trouble with the law. It's like we do the best we can for our children and ourselves and then we turn it over (and it still sucks).
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Check with your attorney. I'm divorcing and in a similar position because my husband is a "functioning" alcoholic and had only 1 dui about 20 years ago. I'm "lucky" in that I have many, many witnesses to his excessive drinking, drinking while driving, drinking before driving, etc. My attorney (and lots of great people on this forum) have advised me to tell my kids they are NOT to get in the car with dad if he drinks ~ they are to call me immediately. Our next step then will be court, and given the witnesses I have, my attorney is comfortable he will not be able to see the kids without supervision if it goes that far. I know your twins are rather young to do this, but a lawyer could help you proceed in the right direction. In my state, Massachusetts, it's considered your obligation to report this kind of endangerment.
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey Light....might I suggest a new job - out of state.....the kids of course going with you......the courts will allow you to take the kids out of state if its job related....problem solved....JMHO

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Old 06-11-2007, 12:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Guardian Ad Litem

GAL is a person appointed by the courts for the children. He/she investigates both sides, talks to kids, parents, grandparents, schools, and anyone involved. They are supposed to be unbiased...(in my custody case, this wasn't true, won't bore you about that)....and then they make a recommendation to the court on who should get custody and why. The courts almost 99% of the time, follow whatever the GAL says. The GAL should be able to find out if your ex is an alcoholic or not....and I say "should" because we all know how well the A's are at hiding it from the outside world.

To get a GAL appointed, just have your attorney file a motion to request it. Expect to pay out your nose for him/her, but if you can afford it, it is an option that will benefit the kids. The courts go on and on about the "best interest of the children", but sometimes its the "best amount of money they can get". Sad, but very true.

Good luck....it will all work out.
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank, I thought about getting them a cell phone for these kind of cases, and I will probably do, But I just hate to put pressure on my kids, but I will hate it more if something happen to them and.......I better don't even think about it. I'm glad I found this website too, it's good to hear other people's opinion, specially when they know or have an idea what me and my kids are going throug. thank you so much, God bless you all.
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Just wanted to add my welcome to the others.... and let you know your not alone.
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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nice to meet you, light. blessings, k
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I just wanted to say Welcome to you Light.
I have no words of wisdom but am glad you are here.
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