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visitation with kids while using/drinking

Old 12-12-2010, 07:41 PM
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visitation with kids while using/drinking

As it is becoming more and more likely that I am headed for a divorce, I need some guidance. I haven't contacted a lawyer yet, but unless there is some divine intervention, I plan to after the holidays. My husband is an addict who is actively drinking. He doesn't think he should have to prove that he is sober in order to have unsupervised visitation. Our son will be 2 right after christmas so it's not like he can tell me what happens when he's with his dad. I really want to try to do this through mediation to save money and stress, but I don't see where we are going to be able to agree on this point. Does anyone know how a judge would "typically" rule in a situation like this? I know it varies greatly depending on state and the judge. I just want to get some feedback. Or if you have any suggestions that I could take into mediation that he may agree to. Thanks. I still can't believe that this is my life.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:05 PM
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often they appoint a guardian ad litem to determine what is in the best interest of the child.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:40 PM
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I can't answer your specific questions but will share my thought processes as I have literally just went through this. I requested supervised visitation as part of my legal separation. Prior to my AH leaving two days ago (per court order), he did keep our kids at times. But it has been in our home. As I thought about how things would be when he is out of our home, in his place or someone else's, I couldn't come to a resolution in my head that the kids would be fully safe, but not just the safe part alone, what would they be exposed to? I realized that if something happened to them, I would never be able to forgive myself. And, flipside, I know he loves our kids and would never intentionally do anything to hurt them, so the decision was very hard for me. But I just can't take any chances, not with my kids.

Oh, and one other thing is that I asked his parents prior to putting in this request if they would supervise. The thought of my kids having to meet their dad in a court ordered situation did not sit well with me. I want them to have some quality time together if at all possible, in a comfortable and familiar setting. I 100% fully trust his parents so I was grateful they were willing to do this.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:46 PM
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I'd like to think that with the right kind of proof, a judge would have to be nutso to allow a child to be in the care of an unsupervised, admitted addict who has no control over himself.

But, sometimes the justice system baffles me, ya know? I would ask around. I'm sure you can inquire. Just not sure who exactly you might ask?
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:05 AM
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Just another thought. Through mediation, I doubt your AH would accept it. My AH would have never accepted this. Most judges will err on the side of the children though, but as ZW said, sometimes the justice system doesn't always go the logical way. I'm not sure how mediation alone works? I went before a judge and testified...he agreed to it based on my testimony. Good luck.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:27 AM
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Unfortunately there is no exactly "right" answer to this question. I supervise my son's visitation with his son. I don't think he would purposely put my grandson in harm's way. But drugs make people do things that they wouldn't otherwise do. It clouds their judgement. Luckily, my son's ex-girlfriend has been very cooperative in allowing this arrangement to happen.

If my son proves over time that he can do things responsibly.....like have a driver's license, valid insurance, and remains drug and alcohol free. I would have no problem with him spending time alone with his young son. Until all of those things happen, he has to deal with the relationship in terms that the healthy people in my grandson's life dictate. I am fully and 100 percent supportive of my son's girlfriend's decisions with regard to her son's life. Right now......she is the sole responsible parent for that little guy and she deserves my respect and cooperation.

I hope that you are able to make arrangements that keep your child's best interest foremost.

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Old 12-13-2010, 12:23 PM
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I know he loves our kids and would never intentionally do anything to hurt them, so the decision was very hard for me. But I just can't take any chances, not with my kids. - I 100% agree with this. Although I know me exah adores our daughters, as an active addict, he cannot make the rational choices he would if he were not using. Therefore, I had to restrict his visitation to supervised with his parents present only. He is not allowed to ever be behind the wheel with them, so his parents do all the driving as well...or I do the driving back and forth. Is it the most convient arrangement? No, but it provides me with the assurance my daughters are safe...and it gives my daughters time with their dad which the ask for. Restrictions aren't saying the addict doesn't love his/her kids, but rather, he/she just can't make the choices a non-addict would make regarding the safety of their children...therefore, it's up to you to provide safe boundaries for your children. It's not an easy position to be in...but none of the chaoas of addiction/co-dependency is...but one has to make the next best choice under the circumstances...protect your kids to the best of your ability!
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