discouraging chat with attorney; now what?

Old 02-01-2017, 08:58 PM
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discouraging chat with attorney; now what?

As I've posted previously, my STBXAH has successfully done Soberlink monitoring for almost a year, during the alternate weeks when he has our 3 kids (10, 14, 16). Recently he filed a motion to discontinue monitoring, saying the year of passed tests means he doesn't have a problem.

I was with him for 20 years, the last 5 of which were a miserable rollercoaster of alcoholic insanity, much of which directly or indirectly impacted our kids but none of which involved the police and only a few of which were observed by outside witnesses (his friends).

He doesn't even claim to be in recovery. He just says the passed tests demonstrate he doesn't have a problem (despite a doctor's diagnosis, wretched things he's done under the influence, and him getting mugged while massively drunk last year, after the SL testing began but on his non-custodial week). From evidence I've seen at the house, I know he's still drinking. But now that I'm not there, I don't know the extent of it.

I was all set to go to court to press for continued monitoring, arguing that Soberlink is the tool that is helping him be a safe and sane dad (if angry and irritable, from what I hear).

But my attorney doesn't think I have a case. She says since nothing awful has happened, and he has passed the tests, the judge is likely to side with him.

STBXAH has offered to do 2 more months of SL (which mean 1 month, since he does it on alternate weeks), to appease me and avoid court.

So, what do I do? Get a second opinion? Tell my attorney I want to go to court anyway? (Attorneys out there: is it wise for someone to use you to argue a case about which you're not persuaded yourself? ) Request random urine testing instead, which might be harder to 'game'?

What I feel like doing is holding on to my kids for dear life, and not letting him have shared custody, but I know that's not going to happen.

Help?

I do take some consolation in the fact that I got him to do the monitoring for a year, so our kids are a year older and wiser, given his absolute insistence that he would do nothing of the sort when we split.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:19 PM
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Lawyers often argue quite effectively on cases they aren't confident they will win. She's doing her job by advising you of her take on it. I think if it were I in your shoes, I'd go to court and present the best arguments possible. If you lose, you might improve your chances the next time, if things go south.

I forget your kids' ages, but you can coach them on how to handle any problems.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:23 PM
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Oh and I don't think urine monitoring would be too effective in this situation, where he's only prohibited from drinking when he has the kids.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:57 PM
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Lexie,
Can you explain why you don't think urine testing would be effective? My attorney thinks I should ask for a random urine test during the weeks he has the kids, which she says shows if he's been drinking during the previous 80 hours.
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:12 PM
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You can go to court and try, though I think your attorney is just advising you that since he has blown clean for an entire year, you likely won't get an extension.
Personally I would go forward with it anyway.
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:11 AM
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You won't get it if you don't try, that's for certain. I think random tests are a good option because first, it looks like a compromise, second, he won't be able to dry drunk his way around them, and third, if he doesn't have a problem, why would he object? Hey, I could argue that in court and I am no kind of lawyer.

Your kids are old enough to know when and how to call for help, right?
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:30 AM
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80 hours is a pretty long window. It would have to be toward the end of the week to pick up his drinking while he has them. Otherwise, he could argue that it's picking up what he drank before he had them.

I dunno, I guess you could ask. I'm just not sure how much reassurance it would really provide.
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by sauerkraut View Post
But my attorney doesn't think I have a case. She says since nothing awful has happened, and he has passed the tests, the judge is likely to side with him.

STBXAH has offered to do 2 more months of SL (which mean 1 month, since he does it on alternate weeks), to appease me and avoid court.
I would ask your attorney what the likelihood of success is. Your post stated that she "doesn't think I have a case," which suggests that your attorney believes your odds are quite small, but I would want to have more detail before assuming that to be the case. If your attorney believes that your odds are quite small, I would strongly consider saving your financial and emotional resources for a battle that you have a better chance of winning. I know others are saying that you don't have much to lose, but arguing with lawyers is not cheap and losing this battle could take an emotional toll on you.

Your STBXAH has offered to do 2 more months of SL to avoid court. As an alternative to seeking assistance from the court, consider asking your lawyer to negotiate with his lawyer and increase this to 3-4 months.
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:24 AM
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Myself, I would go and give it a try. If you lose, you go forward from there.

Hugs.
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