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Am I playing into the drama??

Old 10-25-2018, 11:38 AM
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Am I playing into the drama??

I need some feedback here as to whether:

1. I'm playing into AW's drama;

2. I'm protecting myself (and kid);

3. Both 1 and 2;

4. Something else.

For purposes of this post - AW, me, and our child live in State M.

Here's the situation: AW - who was acting as a "stay-at-home" mom after quitting her job in May (after a 2 month stint in the hospital for a bad detox) - was arrested earlier this month. It's her 4th DWI. It was her first arrest with our child, DS who is 4 y.o., in the car. And it involved a minor accident.

Two days following her arrest she entered an in-patient rehab (minimum 28 day program).

Because of the suddenness of all of this, I was left in the lurch for childcare for DS. Earlier this year, I had pushed back deadlines, etc. due to AW's hospitalization (ICU, skilled nursing facility, etc.). Now those deadlines are upon me - and I can't postpone them any more.

AW's brother and sister -in-law, who live in State C, offered to take temporary custody of DS until the situation cleared up. Being in a bit of a panic, I bit on it. For the past 3 weeks DS has been in State C with them.

Today, after email exchanges between AW, her brother in State C, and me. It became clear that AFTER AW gets out of in-patient rehab, she plans to move to State C where she'll live in a "sober living facility", do intensive out patient work, and get a part-time job. Thus, the plan appears to be to keep DS in State C -- which is a looonnnnnggg way from his home here in State M.

If that were to happen, I'd be S-C-R-E-W-E-D in any future divorce or child visitation action. It's a 13 hour drive one way from our house to their house.

I can see no reason why - if AW wants to live in a "sober living" house, do intensive out-patient therapy, and get a part-time job, it can't be here in State M. We live in an urban area, not the boondocks and such facilities are available nearby.

OR, if she absolutely needs to do her "sober living" out there in State C, fine . . . SHE can go out there. But, I'm not sure why our son has to be her "companion" or "support dog." (my choice of words). She can "get sober" without him being around. Will it be tougher for her to get sober without him around? I dunno, maybe. But, she shouldn't be using DS as a crutch to support HER recovery (again, my words).

I can't fathom why *I* should I lose my connection with DS because (once again) her needs are being placed in front of everything else.

And, I recognize I may not win any father of the year awards - I work long hours and the time to throw around the ball and play in the park is difficult . . . but that's because *I* have to work and have never been afforded the opportunity of a mental breakdown (or whatever a non-alcoholics version of rehab would be).

So, I informed AW's brother that I've gotten my hands around the daycare situation here and, therefore, when they are stopping by our City on the way to see other relatives in early November, they can drop DS off permanently with me.

What FROSTS me is the way both AW and her brother were acting in the emails. It was sooooo stealthy -- it was only due to a slip up on AW's email that I even got wind of their plans.

And THAT just reinforces to me why I cannot trust AW.

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Old 10-25-2018, 12:03 PM
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It sounds to me like you are de-flatting the potential long term drama by asking that your son be returned to you and his home.

Your brother in law is probably blinded and with tunnel vision and though of wanting to help his sister and does not see he is only acting in her best interest not yours or your sons.

At this point in time I would not trust either.

I would also strongly think about a legal separation where child custody/visitation is made iron clad. Don’t wait for them to make that move first, you do it.
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:17 PM
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It's a complicated situation but I see two things here.

First and most important is she wants to take off somewhere else and take your child with her. That's the plan. Only you can stop this in its tracks right now.

If it were me I'd be in the car heading for State C to pick him up today.

Second, seems to me she is just up and leaving (perhaps to a more enabling environment?)

Have you consulted a lawyer at all?
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:19 PM
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Yikes, I would contact a lawyer immediately.

I would be arranging daycare in my home state, today.

I would be going to get my child TODAY, to hell with work.

I smell a rat.
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:25 PM
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MCE..….from what you share, I see the situation, the same way that you do....
Sounds like your wife is being the central "client' or "patient"...…
To me, it sounds like State M is the location that would be best for the child....for a number of reasons.
The child should be the central person, as I see it.

It seems like you can provide the most stable environment for the child. Being the most able to provide economic stability and geographic convenience...and, believe, with children, geographic convenience becomes a big issue.....


I get it, that your wife's family would LIKE to have their family all in the same location....but, the total picture needs to be considered. Your wife's plans are centering around her needs, right now. Which is fine, for her. I do see where her sobriety needs to be the number one consideration, for her. Without sobriety....she will lose everything. But, after her sober living time is over....she will have to face life on life's terms....


I understand that this must get on your last nerve....but, I think you do need to stick to your own boundaries, on this....
After all, who knows if your wife will be content, in State C, after the novelty wears off....
Remember the "golden rule".....Say what you mean; mean what you say; but, don't say it mean.
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:40 PM
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RED FLAG ALERT!!!! Your AW sounds like she's trying to be slick. So glad you got wind of what they were planning. Be proactive in this. Go get a consultation with an attorney - even if you have to pay for it. (I had to pay $400 for about an hour and a half with the one I saw, and I never filed for divorce or separation, but I can promise you the info and advice he gave me was well worth it)

Your child needs the most stable and consistent life possible. That does not mean uprooting him and moving to State C with alcoholic mom and her enabling family. I know why you did what you did when you did it, but it's not a long-term plan, nor did you ever intend for it to be. Good for you for nipping this in the bud.
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:48 PM
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So with your permission your son is already in state C, your wife is going to be joining them , do you really think everything is going to be magically better in state C..? And they both will be returning home?

Just my humble opinion, but the longer the child is with them,the more likely the courts will agree for them to keep him, as he will be in a thriving situation. Also my opinion, sounds to me your wife is planning her escape states away from you, and you are helping make this happen. Oh let me guess she is just doing her additional recovery in another state to be near her child.? Nope not buying it.

I see this as a pay now or pay later situation. But I would certainly want my child with me in the state I reside, pretty sure your state also has additional rehab facilities.

You may have to hire a nanny, you may need to take out a loan to help with costs of childcare, until something more permanent can be found. Maybe you need to take time off work to find the right help.

I am agreeing with you I do not trust what is transpiring in this situation. That is why i am suggesting you get your child home.
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:50 PM
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MCE.....yeah, I underline what LPS said....make sure that you have good legal advice…...
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
It's a complicated situation but I see two things here.

First and most important is she wants to take off somewhere else and take your child with her. That's the plan. Only you can stop this in its tracks right now.

If it were me I'd be in the car heading for State C to pick him up today.

Second, seems to me she is just up and leaving (perhaps to a more enabling environment?)

Have you consulted a lawyer at all?
ALL OF THIS, Get in the car and go get your child NOW!!! The fact they were being stealthy is incredibly sketchy and DS being in another state if your AW taps into that states court system you will be screwed. Go get him bring him back to your state immediately and consult an attorney, to keep AW from leaving the state with him.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:46 PM
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I have two thoughts. One, get to an attorney, pronto. Begin to protect ALL of your assets and your parental rights.

My only other thought was do they think the child should be there b/c she should be there meaning you would still be in the same situation you are in now??

Put the child's best interests above all else.
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Old 10-26-2018, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
MCE..….from what you share, I see the situation, the same way that you do....
Sounds like your wife is being the central "client' or "patient"...…
To me, it sounds like State M is the location that would be best for the child....for a number of reasons.
The child should be the central person, as I see it.

It seems like you can provide the most stable environment for the child. Being the most able to provide economic stability and geographic convenience...and, believe, with children, geographic convenience becomes a big issue.....


I get it, that your wife's family would LIKE to have their family all in the same location....but, the total picture needs to be considered. Your wife's plans are centering around her needs, right now. Which is fine, for her. I do see where her sobriety needs to be the number one consideration, for her. Without sobriety....she will lose everything. But, after her sober living time is over....she will have to face life on life's terms....


I understand that this must get on your last nerve....but, I think you do need to stick to your own boundaries, on this....
After all, who knows if your wife will be content, in State C, after the novelty wears off....
Remember the "golden rule".....Say what you mean; mean what you say; but, don't say it mean.
The funny (ironic, not ha ha funny) thing is all of AW's family - except for this one brother, his wife, and their child - are also located in State M.

He's said he left State M for State C because he wanted to "get away" from his parents (the dad is an alcoholic) and all the drama, etc. He can deal with his parents for visits (either here or there), but he's glad he lives in State C.

Both of AW's parents, though, are retired and can travel to State C as often as they can afford. (My parents are both deceased).

But, you're right --- all I hear coming from him is what HER plan is and what's best for her.

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Old 10-26-2018, 05:23 AM
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This is my 2 cents: I would in NO WAY let her be in State C with DS. On top of that, I would make sure I get to State C ASAP, and bring DS back. If she gets there (State C) and is there with DS, it will be a LOT harder to get him back, and that would be VERY sad for him and you. Since the rest of the family lives in State M, can they help? Are they close by? Can you trust them?

I would also contact a lawyer very soon. It's the weekend, please go get him. I'm worried for DS.
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Old 10-26-2018, 06:43 AM
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So he cannot stay in state M and deal with his alcoholic father, but is willing to let your AW come to C and deal with her?
Hmmmm...
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Old 10-26-2018, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MCESaint View Post
was arrested earlier this month. It's her 4th DWI. It was her first arrest with our child, DS who is 4 y.o., in the car. And it involved a minor accident.

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i think you may want to look into penalties for 4th DWI and now with an accident with child in the car. reads like thats a felony in MO for 4th DWI alone. add a child in the car and an accident- penatlies may have her in state custody for a wee bit.
not sure how she can get out of inpatient and move to state C without facing the consequences with the state.
unless she wants to become a fugitive
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Old 10-26-2018, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
i think you may want to look into penalties for 4th DWI and now with an accident with child in the car. reads like thats a felony in MO for 4th DWI alone. add a child in the car and an accident- penatlies may have her in state custody for a wee bit.
not sure how she can get out of inpatient and move to state C without facing the consequences with the state.
unless she wants to become a fugitive
Good points, tomsteve - had not thought of that. The law might take care of some of your concerns for you. I think that's why getting a lawyer tout-suite will be in your best interest.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
So he cannot stay in state M and deal with his alcoholic father, but is willing to let your AW come to C and deal with her?
Hmmmm...
Just to be clear - it seems their position seems to be:

DS cannot return to State M with his non-alcoholic (and stable)working father; but unemployed AW can come to State C to live in "sober living" facility while DS lives with his aunt and uncle (AW's siblings) in State C - AW would have "supervised visits" with DS while in sober living facility and working on intensive outpatient program and non-alcoholic father has . . . well, nobody has thought about that except non-alcoholic (stable working) dad.

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Old 10-26-2018, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by MCESaint View Post
Just to be clear - it seems their position seems to be:

DS cannot return to State M with his non-alcoholic (and stable)working father; but unemployed AW can come to State C to live in "sober living" facility while DS lives with his aunt and uncle (AW's siblings) in State C - AW would have "supervised visits" with DS while in sober living facility and working on intensive outpatient program and non-alcoholic father has . . . well, nobody has thought about that except non-alcoholic (stable working) dad.

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Pretty flawed thought patterns, IMHO.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
i think you may want to look into penalties for 4th DWI and now with an accident with child in the car. reads like thats a felony in MO for 4th DWI alone. add a child in the car and an accident- penatlies may have her in state custody for a wee bit.
not sure how she can get out of inpatient and move to state C without facing the consequences with the state.
unless she wants to become a fugitive
Well (finally out with it), ironically I *am* an attorney - though I've got an appointment to speak with someone else (never be your own brain surgeon right?).

This jurisdiction is a little weird. In St. Louis, we have a bunch of municipalities - who are somewhat independent of the County. In this instance, she was arrested and initially cited by P.D. for the Municipality for DWI, not by the County P.D.. I'm not sure that the arresting officers knew that this was her 4th DWI - because they released her on her own recognizance (like they would for a 1st timer).

By state law, however, the municipality cannot handle anything OTHER than a 1st offense DWI. More than that,they have to refer the case to the State prosecutor and the case is brought in the County Circuit Court.

It can take the State Prosecutor's Office between 2 to 6 months (on average) to file a felony DWI charge with the County Circuit Court.

So, technically, no felony charge is currently pending/filed -- though, ultimately it should happen in the next few months.

Meanwhile - and I assume her rehab is part of her criminal lawyer's (who I don't know and have no contact with) posturing to get the case in the best light possible. It is one of the things I'd do IF I were him.

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Old 10-26-2018, 10:04 AM
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When my XAH got in legal trouble his attorney rushed him off to rehab.

Since this is her 4th DUI I am hoping you are planning for making some future plans to protect your child.

I am sorry you are in this situation, that stinks!
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MCESaint View Post
Well (finally out with it), ironically I *am* an attorney - though I've got an appointment to speak with someone else (never be your own brain surgeon right?).

This jurisdiction is a little weird. In St. Louis, we have a bunch of municipalities - who are somewhat independent of the County. In this instance, she was arrested and initially cited by P.D. for the Municipality for DWI, not by the County P.D.. I'm not sure that the arresting officers knew that this was her 4th DWI - because they released her on her own recognizance (like they would for a 1st timer).

By state law, however, the municipality cannot handle anything OTHER than a 1st offense DWI. More than that,they have to refer the case to the State prosecutor and the case is brought in the County Circuit Court.

It can take the State Prosecutor's Office between 2 to 6 months (on average) to file a felony DWI charge with the County Circuit Court.

So, technically, no felony charge is currently pending/filed -- though, ultimately it should happen in the next few months.

Meanwhile - and I assume her rehab is part of her criminal lawyer's (who I don't know and have no contact with) posturing to get the case in the best light possible. It is one of the things I'd do IF I were him.

MCESaint
Oh..trust me.. Her priors will come up on this case. especially when you toss in child endangerment and a wreck. I don't care what US state you live in..unless she's got a suitcase full of cash..that prior stuff is coming out by the prosecution. I'm not an attny,but I work with loads of them and my 1st dui came back up almost 7yrs after the fact.

BUT..child care is not that difficult to get,again it's $$$?? so I'm confused as to why the boy left his home with you to begin with. This is me,but when my exwf went off the rails and I booted her out of our lives, I did whatever I needed to for her safety/security. I hired sitters/daycares and still worked/lived my single parent life as a 25yr old guy. kids aren't chess pieces. You both need to seperate your own personal stuff from the boy...that's how this reads to me.

Edit: Also...Your wife is in,what I call, "rehab fairytale delusion". This is a term I coined after seeing my exwf on a visiting day. I hated her as a person at this point and she thought it fit to regale me with tales of her future rehab she wanted to go to directly from this rehab."it's in Malibu on the beach and they have horses."(normal folks call this a vacation i think)...No $hit?..Cool..have fun! She also kinda forgot 'things' cost money.
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