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Old 04-26-2011, 04:44 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I sent you a PM (((((WTBH))))) late last night, early this AM your time, lol

Hang in there, it does get better!!!!!!

Love and hugs,
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:45 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I fired my lawyer (whose job it was was to protect H from his DV charge essentially)

I told the girls T with AH in the room that I have safety concerns about him being with the girls alone .....

He is a good dad and loves them and has fun with them.....

I grew up in a nightmarish, abusive home. I don't want my kids to be like me ...

I appreciate that you recognize that it took you more than a few weeks to get from a to z and have that perspective.

I feel like I am seeing a lot of things clearly and am trying to forge a path that is best for us all (girls and I) and that's not something I can do overnight.
WTBH, I have to admit I have not read any of your previous posts and I'm trying my best to not take anything you say out of context. I've quoted a couple of your comments that jumped right out at me and I'm compelled to offer an opinion as a member of this forum, and I'll try to do it in a non judgmental or attacking way, I hope you read it that way. Take what you want and leave the rest.

My heart goes out to you and your children as it would for anyone living in an abusive home. Child protective services needs to be involved to protect your children from the abuser, and realize CPS can have little sympathy for the parent who fails to take protective action. It's a hard reality and if you take to long to act you could find yourself in a defensive position against the scrutiny of CPS. Good luck.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:50 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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The beauty, and strength, of recovery is tools. People in recovery, by definition, have sustained a pretty good dose of injury and trauma, and in the course of recovery it's pretty common to have some tools hurled into our laps that take us a while to master. I know in my own journey I was fairly unpracticed at many of the tools early on and it was a steep learning curve.

I have learned that recovery is full of PEOPLE. That means: there is plenty of dysfunction, alternate opinion, and, sometimes, folks I just don't mesh with. So I try to focus on the tools, in recovery. I try to see how people are using them, or not, or getting progress, or not. And then I take a look at my own circumstances, and try out the tools with practice.

I myself am very triggered by my own perception of other people taking over my story, so my executive tool is to limit what I post to things that help me utilize my tool box. I grew up under toxic, controlling forces that were full of opinions of how I SHOULD be, and as an adult, I now choose not to open that door too much in recovery, and instead opt to use posting and reading in ways that are beneficial to me but don't open too many triggers.

Maybe my learning curve is slower as a result, but I still make forward progress, every day.

The biggest lesson in recovery for me is that I OWN MY OWN LIFE, and I CONTROL IT. So, I get to make these decisions. Way cool.

Sending encouragement, keep coming back as you want and need to get the help you seek. It's your journey, and you own it!

CLMI
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:18 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Jazzman View Post
WTBH, I have to admit I have not read any of your previous posts and I'm trying my best to not take anything you say out of context. I've quoted a couple of your comments that jumped right out at me and I'm compelled to offer an opinion as a member of this forum, and I'll try to do it in a non judgmental or attacking way, I hope you read it that way. Take what you want and leave the rest.

My heart goes out to you and your children as it would for anyone living in an abusive home. Child protective services needs to be involved to protect your children from the abuser, and realize CPS can have little sympathy for the parent who fails to take protective action. It's a hard reality and if you take to long to act you could find yourself in a defensive position against the scrutiny of CPS. Good luck.
I am not leaving my kids alone with my H ever-- I haven't in a while-- precisely bc I do not trust him with them.

Here's what will happen if I file for divorce today. We will have joint custody, I will look like the vindictive ex wife who wants to keep the girls from their father. He is already throwing around terms like "parental alienation" and smirking as he tells me I have no proof of most of the abuse I claim (directed toward me-- not the girls). He's right. I haven't kept a great journal. I am waiting for the court case in early May to run its course and will be working with the victim advocate and prosecutor's office to hopefully have there be very strict guidelines about what AH needs to do in order to a) clear his record and b) have time alone with the girls. It is to my benefit to wait until the DV case is settled before I pursue divorce. He will likely be found guilty and that will strengthen my case for custody and supervised visitation for him.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:42 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Years ago I was involved in the Foster Parents program in my county and learned of cases where innocent parties are partitioning the courts to have their parental rights reinstated. The system can either work for you or against you. Sounds like you're taking the steps you can to involve the system to your and your childrens benefit. Again, the situation sucks, good luck.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:07 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Barb Dwyer what ??? I've been gone for two days? what happened???
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:16 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I am not leaving my kids alone with my H ever-- I haven't in a while-- precisely bc I do not trust him with them.

Here's what will happen if I file for divorce today. We will have joint custody, I will look like the vindictive ex wife who wants to keep the girls from their father. He is already throwing around terms like "parental alienation" and smirking as he tells me I have no proof of most of the abuse I claim (directed toward me-- not the girls). He's right. I haven't kept a great journal. I am waiting for the court case in early May to run its course and will be working with the victim advocate and prosecutor's office to hopefully have there be very strict guidelines about what AH needs to do in order to a) clear his record and b) have time alone with the girls. It is to my benefit to wait until the DV case is settled before I pursue divorce. He will likely be found guilty and that will strengthen my case for custody and supervised visitation for him.
Hi WTBH,

Thanks for clarifying the situation for us.

My heart is pounding as I read your post, since it is similar to the situation I was in many years back. I had to delay divorce FOR YEARS since the court wouldn't protect my child against possible harm from dad, and I supervised visitation myself for a while which was agonizing.

Child therapist was not a help (often a hindrance when she believed my ex's lies), and there were a number of desperate years where I couldn't explain to most people what I was doing and why. A few devoted family and friends got me through those terrible times, and now things are ok. But I know that situations can be complex and take time to unwind.

Stay strong! Sending you good thoughts.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:40 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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This forum, IMHO, is intended TO have people call us on our "stinkin thinkin"..I don't think that the issue here is what one adult does to another, but that the kids are involved and don't get a choice as to their exposure to abusive, alcoholic father..this triggers people all over the place...has as long as I've been here and probably always will..ACOA's have no tolerance for that kind of stuff, and although I am not one, I work with children who come from families where there is DV, trained DSS workers on how to protect children, went to classrooms and spoke directly to kids about DV.As far as I know, no one can stress too much the impact this has had and will continue to have on the kids...
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:51 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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I worked as a court advocate for 5 yrs with victims of DV. Many of my "cases" were divorce ones. I saw almost every woman have to agree to shared, unsupervised custody bc there wasn't adequate "proof" that the abuser was a danger to the kids. Men who had records a mile long of beating their wives got to have unsupervised visitation. One of these men wound up killing his ex wife in front of her kids as she picked them up from his place.

The things I heard, saw, watched, the frustration I watched these women and their lawyers go through goes through my head EVERY SECOND of every day.

Obviously I am not here with my H still bc I think he's great. I will be damned if I will subject my kids to being alone with him and while the current situation is not great, it is a whole lot better than me packing them up for a weekend wondering what is going on while they are out of sight.

I am getting really emotional about this right now so I'm going to go but trust me, I know better than you know how the court system works and it does NOT protect kids. The burden of proof is on the abused to prove that the abuse is bad enough to warrant restrictions on contact and even when I had a RO against my H this winter he still had unsupervised visitation rights with the girls.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:55 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Danae View Post
Hi WTBH,

Thanks for clarifying the situation for us.

My heart is pounding as I read your post, since it is similar to the situation I was in many years back. I had to delay divorce FOR YEARS since the court wouldn't protect my child against possible harm from dad, and I supervised visitation myself for a while which was agonizing.

Child therapist was not a help (often a hindrance when she believed my ex's lies), and there were a number of desperate years where I couldn't explain to most people what I was doing and why. A few devoted family and friends got me through those terrible times, and now things are ok. But I know that situations can be complex and take time to unwind.

Stay strong! Sending you good thoughts.

Danae- What did you do to get the court to believe you? To listen? I feel like no one believes me. To the outside world me H is a saint, fun, great dad etc... Even though he got arrested he has his family and colleagues (his boss called me and reamed me out the day after he was arrested for putting H's job at risk by calling the police) convinced that it is bc I am mentally ill and crazy and that I accused him falsely. I KNOW that being here with the girls and having him around at times is not great-- but it is a whole lot better than handing them over to him without supervision for 50% of the time. I don't have an ideal option so I am trying to make the best of the current situation while I gather "proof", document and try and navigate unfamiliar territory....

Is there anything you can share with me that helped you with the court issue?
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:18 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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LOL @Barb,

I was posting to WTBH that something that you posted to me a few days ago ended up ringing true. It was hard to read it, but you were right on, and it helped me to break through and see it, partly because I read it here, first...
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:42 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Thanks Buffalo -
that freaked me out -
i go away for two days
and get mentioned in three threads i didn't post on ....

lmao!

I'm not well... I'm only better.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:39 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Isn't this the tricky thing about being on a forum with a bunch of fellow codies??? We all want to save each other!!!

Yeesh...

Originally Posted by Danae View Post
Hi,

I almost posted to you on another thread earlier this evening, but had to sign off for dinner. I might very well have been someone you took exception to, because something about one of your posts pushed some of my buttons. I had a difficult time years ago keeping my child safe from his father in situations that were difficult to explain to others, and it is still an emotional subject for me.

Reading your older posts it seems like you've come a long way recently, and rethinking what I was going to say earlier---i realized how long it took me (years) to get to where I am. I want for you to be in a better situation NOW, immediately, with you and your children safe. But I can't make that happen for you any more than I could make it happen quickly for me. So...I have to filter my response.

I hope you can continue to get value out of SR, since it can be a valuable sounding board. I wish good things for you and your kids.

Danae
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:19 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
Danae- What did you do to get the court to believe you? To listen? I feel like no one believes me. To the outside world me H is a saint, fun, great dad etc... Even though he got arrested he has his family and colleagues (his boss called me and reamed me out the day after he was arrested for putting H's job at risk by calling the police) convinced that it is bc I am mentally ill and crazy and that I accused him falsely. I KNOW that being here with the girls and having him around at times is not great-- but it is a whole lot better than handing them over to him without supervision for 50% of the time. I don't have an ideal option so I am trying to make the best of the current situation while I gather "proof", document and try and navigate unfamiliar territory....

Is there anything you can share with me that helped you with the court issue?
I know you're not asking me! Mind if I pipe up?

There is a really good book called "Splitting: Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist" (or something like that!) by William Eddy. His High Conflict Institute site has lots of great stuff. (No, I'm not him nor do I work for him... haha) He gives a very good step by step process for building and then presenting your case. Eddy has another book called "Don't Alienate the Kids" that gives good advice on how to handle this too. Eddy gets it.

LOTS of people are faced with this choice when there is a risk of their kids having 50% of their non-school time unsupervised with someone who is a danger, but they are unable to prove it, or they risk of looking like an instigator or alienator because the weight of the evidence just isn't in place yet. I've seen courts make very bad, very wrong decisions a couple of times (rarely, but very tragically), so I understand your caution and the wisdom of your thinking.

William Eddy's stuff is very good, helpful.

Last edited by blueblooms14; 04-26-2011 at 12:22 PM. Reason: verbose, of course...
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:01 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Hey wanttobehealthy,

When I first spoke to my attorney, he told me that facts speak louder than conclusions. What does that mean?
Well, I've concluded that my wife is an AW. The courts, at this point do not have facts. Well, they would but I haven't filed yet. I have a video recording which is admissible and my attorney said it helps tremendously.

Here's something else he told me about proof. There are companies you can hire. I think it's called CFL or the eyes and ears of the Judge and case investigators. They will do investigative work on your behalf. They will dig into CC purchases at liquor stores or bars. They will conduct random drug tests. They will monitor things. It costs a buttload but there are companies who will do this and my lawyer certainly made this an option. Average cost is 7-12k.

In my case, my AW doesn't have a DUI. No public records of her intoxication. So it would be my word against hers, minus the videos. In the meantime he suggested that I maintain a detailed journal. If I conclude that she'd been drinking, I need to include details on how I knew that. Examples may be...I found 1.75 litter of Vodka in her closet behind her clothes. It was half full yesterday. It's empty today. Or, I found 20 beer cans in the recycle bin. They weren't there yesterday.

I realize that you're progressed beyond me in the timeline so you may not have time. My whole point is that you can require random drug/alcohol tests. I want to say it's called and ETG test which covers a period of 80 hours. You can't even have mouthwash or it would trigger positive.
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:22 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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These boards helped me learn how to communicate even more effectively, because they mostly lack the nonverbal cues we normally rely on in face to face discussions. This type of communication requires extra effort.

These boards also helped me learn to stop taking things personally (we always say to a newcomer, "it isn't personal, it's what the A does"). It is a choice to make or take things personally, with anyone. Everything I say or do is a reflection/projection of my own reality. Everything we all do is a reflection of self. A hallmark codie behavior is not knowing that, or forgetting it.

The 12 steps are a beautiful thing. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time. It's a journey, instead of a destination
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:51 PM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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There is a really good book called "Splitting: Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist" (or something like that!) by William Eddy.
I own it. Had to hide it (still do) so that AH doesn't find it. AH is BPD as well and my blood runs cold when I read stuff in that book that sounds like it was written just for me.

My mom is BPD and destroyed my innocent Dad during their divorce. Had him investigated for non existent abuse against myself and my siblings, bullied us all into lying to the court as kids etc... The courts aren't set up to protect those who are dealing with the PD'ordered on top of addiction.

I think that sometimes people (not you- just in general) think that it's as simple as just leaving. I wish that were the case. I left a year ago around this time and my H called the police on me. They showed up at my mom's and said they didn't want to get involved in a family fight but they'd received a call about my taking our kids and "disappearing". That scared me silly. He showed that he WILL go as far as accusing me of "taking" our kids if I leave him that night. I still stayed away for a long time but I paid a price for it in terms of the "documentation" he began (and showed me) about how I was alienating him from the girls.

He's always a step ahead. Given the bad options in front of me, being here with the girls 24:7 and letting him sleep here and crossing paths as necessary is the best of many bad options. After the DV trial I will move fwd with the divorce and have prepared myself for an uphill battle.

LOTS of people are faced with this choice when there is a risk of their kids having 50% of their non-school time unsupervised with someone who is a danger, but they are unable to prove it, or they risk of looking like an instigator or alienator because the weight of the evidence just isn't in place yet. I've seen courts make very bad, very wrong decisions a couple of times (rarely, but very tragically), so I understand your caution and the wisdom of your thinking.
I've seen this too-- (bad decisions by the court). I worked for many yrs with victims of DV and saw a lot of women, like me, with H's who were well respected in the community. The end result was NEVER the H having supervised visitation-- not ONCE in 5 yrs. And a lot of these women had waaaaay more evidence of how abusive their H's were than I do. Courts don't seem to care that a H is abusive to his wife when considering custody. They look at it like apples and oranges. It's insane.

Thanks for the suggestion of the book-- if I hadn't already tracked it down I'd be finding it asap...
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:52 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I am not leaving my kids alone with my H ever-- I haven't in a while-- precisely bc I do not trust him with them.

Here's what will happen if I file for divorce today. We will have joint custody, I will look like the vindictive ex wife who wants to keep the girls from their father. He is already throwing around terms like "parental alienation" and smirking as he tells me I have no proof of most of the abuse I claim (directed toward me-- not the girls). He's right. I haven't kept a great journal. I am waiting for the court case in early May to run its course and will be working with the victim advocate and prosecutor's office to hopefully have there be very strict guidelines about what AH needs to do in order to a) clear his record and b) have time alone with the girls. It is to my benefit to wait until the DV case is settled before I pursue divorce. He will likely be found guilty and that will strengthen my case for custody and supervised visitation for him.
Danae- What did you do to get the court to believe you? To listen? I feel like no one believes me. To the outside world me H is a saint, fun, great dad etc... Even though he got arrested he has his family and colleagues (his boss called me and reamed me out the day after he was arrested for putting H's job at risk by calling the police)
I’m kind of afraid to post…
WTBH, I don't know if it will help or not, but:

When I filed for divorce, I was also terrified that people would think that I was being the vindictive xwife. When I filed, I had a minimal journal of XAH’s no-calls, no-shows on visits with DS, a string of e-mails where he said he couldn’t come (he obviously thought I delete all my e-mail after reading like he does), because those were some of the days he tried to say I refused to allow a visit.

I had absolutely no physical proof of the abuse, SA or his alcoholism (other than 1 photo DS (then 3yo) took of XAH when he fell into the tub while drunk).

And I was terrified that he would pull the parental alienation card. He did try, but my attorney and the court shut him down on that one because I made sure that he was informed of all of the events at DS's school, doctors and dentists appointments, parent-teacher meetings, etc. Just because he failed/refused to attend, failed to exercise his full visitation rights, doesn't mean I was alienating him from DS's life.

On the DV side, I had tried to get a RO against him after I filed for divorce, because of a text he sent and his past history during arguments that didn't go his way. I didn't get the RO, because the magistrate said XAH just "seemed intimidating" to me and there was a "differing level of interest in sex" in our relationship and then she cautioned Mr. X to take care with what he said/did. XAH tried to use the fact that the RO was denied against me in court. Once he started answering questions, posed by my attorney and the court, he'd contradict himself because his sense of entitlement told him he could do whatever he wanted to do with me or that I deserved it because I interfered with his plans.

I don't know what to say about my RO denial or the other cases that you've seen, other than: just because those cases didn't work out, it doesn't mean your case won't either. The seemingly smallest things can convince the court of the truth.

I followed Coyote's advice: I was truthful to the point of pain. I laid everything out on the floor for the court to see, the truth, the pain, the degradation, my role in those and how it made me feel. The judge was not as educated about DV and SA as I would have hoped, and he basically put it down to me 'volunteering' to be treated like that since I stayed for so long, but he heard and believed about the DV, SA and the alcoholism. He followed the direction of the law for when cases show that DV, SA and alcoholism were present.

Be blunt, honest, and direct about everything, even if it's not the most favorable light for you. Talk to your lawyer about what the laws in your area are: Is the court required to mandate supervised visits if there is a history of DV against the mother, or is it up to the discretion of the court? Is alcohol/drug testing required if the court finds he is an alcoholic/substance abuser? Is it still required if the visits are supervised? Is he required to enroll and follow-through with abusers counseling? What happens if he fails to comply with the terms of the RO, or other court requirements?

Hang in there.
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:57 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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When I first spoke to my attorney, he told me that facts speak louder than conclusions. What does that mean?
Well, I've concluded that my wife is an AW. The courts, at this point do not have facts. Well, they would but I haven't filed yet. I have a video recording which is admissible and my attorney said it helps tremendously.
I have several audio recordings and a video recording which my H knew about my recording. I don't have it totally together on these "tapes" myself but he is definitely drunk. I had forgotten about this. I bet this is proof-- I have to ask the lawyer I am seeing on Thurs. Thanks for reminding me.

Here's something else he told me about proof. There are companies you can hire. I think it's called CFL or the eyes and ears of the Judge and case investigators. They will do investigative work on your behalf. They will dig into CC purchases at liquor stores or bars. They will conduct random drug tests. They will monitor things. It costs a buttload but there are companies who will do this and my lawyer certainly made this an option. Average cost is 7-12k.
Wow, that would be awesome-- if it were free As it is I have no money to pay for a lawyer so the one I am seeing on Thurs is going to have to be willing to do a payment plan or I am back to square one.

In my case, my AW doesn't have a DUI. No public records of her intoxication. So it would be my word against hers, minus the videos. In the meantime he suggested that I maintain a detailed journal. If I conclude that she'd been drinking, I need to include details on how I knew that. Examples may be...I found 1.75 litter of Vodka in her closet behind her clothes. It was half full yesterday. It's empty today. Or, I found 20 beer cans in the recycle bin. They weren't there yesterday.
My H doesn't have a DUI either. I called the police many times when he was drinking and took off driving. But they never found him. I have a journal but a lot of it is "I KNOW he's drunk but I have no proof". Short of having a breathalizer machine at home I don't know how to document how I know he is drinking...

I realize that you're progressed beyond me in the timeline so you may not have time. My whole point is that you can require random drug/alcohol tests. I want to say it's called and ETG test which covers a period of 80 hours. You can't even have mouthwash or it would trigger positive.
I would LOVE to have that required. That's precisely what I think needs to be in place if he wants to have time alone with the girls. Problem is he is very smart and if there is any way to outsmart a test he'll find it.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:08 PM
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I wondered what your specifics were.
It's been a while since my visit with the lawyer so some details are a foggy. I was drinking from the firehose that day in terms of information overload.

Anyway, it's possible that requesting random tests is not an expense. The flip side is to make sure you're available for testing as well. It goes both ways. The other investigative work where they dig deep is the costly stuff. I doubt I could afford that myself. Therefore, I'm working a plan and keeping the camera close and the documentation current.

I also learned about something called a Protective Order. It could be something like a restraining order. I don't know but here's what I was told.
I could file one of these in an extreme case. It's one of those things that a Judge needs to approve but in general it's something that when dealing with potential alcoholics, they're normally approved immediately. You don't serve the order. Officials show up and give your alkie 15 minutes to get out. Depending on the turn around, they could be caught drunk in the process and now you have your proof and you also have some temp protection.

I'd toss in a silly disclaimer to my experiences but they're mine. I just hope my experiences can jog your memory and give you a few talking points next time you visit a lawyer.

Good luck! We're pulling for you.
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