Leaving an addict when custody is a concern. - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Leaving an addict when custody is a concern.


Iíve posted here before but for those who donít know my husband is an opiate addict. He had 14 months sober and relapsed in July. Since then he has used here and there (once or twice a month) until this past week which has been more consistent (daily Iím guessing, we work opposite shifts so I donít see him every day but the signs are there).

I am considering divorce at this point but am terrified of the thought of having to share custody of our children with him. They are still young, 4 and 8, and although he isnít abusive he obviously will not supervise appropriately if heís high and will drive with them while under the influence. We have separated in the past but it was a separation for him to work on himself with the understanding we would work on us if he got sober. So I had control over visits and supervised all of them. Obviously divorce would be different. Iím over the back and forth and quite frankly feel done right now. I love him but have no desire to be with him if heís using.

But right now I believe he can pass drug tests as he isnít totally out of control. I know I need to consult an attorney but I thought I would also come here to get some advice from those who have been through it.

What should I be doing to start to build a case? He has been to inpatient rehab 3 times. He also has overdosed recently which he was brought to the hospital for so I have that for proof. But it doesnít show consistent use and he certainly isnít going to admit to that heís used since then.

I donít want to take the kids away from him but I donít want them in his care if heís using. What should I even ask for custody wise? Supervised visits? When I met with an attorney a little over a year ago when we Were separated I was told if I do this and canít find someone to supervise Iím likely to have to pay an agency to do it. Ridiculous! And hopefully not accurate information. I definitely want the order to state that I have the right to deny visits if heís under the influence when the kids are dropped off/he picks them up but Iím worried he could be sober at that time and then use while they are with him.

Ugh! All of this is what has kept me with him for so long. I know so many addicts that have unsupervised time with their kids. I donít have much faith that I will be able to get supervised visits.

Sorry for the rambling. Iím super stressed right now 😢
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Becca, sorry you are so stressed, it's a terrible situation to be in.

Below are some threads from the F&F of Alcoholics forum that discuss custody, you might find them interesting/helpful.

I don't know if you know but if you want to read more of a particular poster's story you can see what they have posted in the past by clicking on their username (above where their picture would be if they have one) and from the drop down menu you can choose to see more of their threads or more of their posts.

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...ed-advice.html (Co-Parenting Plan No Longer Works, Legal Limbo, Need Advice)

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...soberlink.html (How do you catch them drinking without soberlink?)

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...agreement.html (Mediation today and we reached an agreement!)

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...l-drinker.html (still trying to be a casual, normal drinker)

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...-involved.html (No Contact When There's Kids Involved?)

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...cess-kids.html (Is it all show to want access with the kids?)

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...ntrolling.html (XAH Trying to be controlling)
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you! I will take a look at these.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The family court system is broken, for sure, but it's the only system we've got. It sounds like you have good evidence to show a pattern. Definitely consult with an attorney, but don't put all your faith in them. I did the first time around- I thought I was dealing with a professional and that he would know what to do and do it. Big mistake! The most important advice I can give you is to never let any resentment show. None! Everything you do or say needs to come from a place of total compassion and genuine concern for your children's welfare. I look back on the first declaration I submitted to the court and I cannot believe my attorney didn't edit it. I was SEETHING and a lot of the "concerns" I listed didn't qualify as putting the kids in immediate harm. The courts have seen the worst of the worst, so a lot of concerns we have just seem like nit-picking to them. My ex had no trouble painting me as a vindictive ex-wife who only wanted to alienate him from his kids. Of course, I did have valid concerns, but they were overshadowed by my attitude.

It is possible that you won't be granted supervised visitation right away, but you have to keep your side of the street clean. By bringing the issues to the court's attention, you at least no longer risk having your rights terminated by CPS. Document everything and always communicate via text or email. Drug addicts are sloppy- even if your request for supervised visits is denied, he will eventually slip up.

I just found out today that the woman my ex-husband dated immediately after our separation- the woman who used to make my kids sleep on her bare floor, and the court's didn't give a crap- was arrested and is being tried for murder. She sold a guy heroin laced with fentanyl. Drug addicts are so incredibly dangerous. I really wish our court system was more realistic about the threat they pose to children.

But like I said, the truth comes out eventually. My ex has had supervised visits for almost 3 years now. It took a year of me petitioning the court for it, but here we are. The kids are safe. Do what you have to do for your kids.

Good luck
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks hechosedrugs. Itís so crazy isnít it? I canít understand how the court doesnít see drug use as the problem that it is when it comes to kids safety. When we separated for the first time I called my local domestic violence center for guidance about custody and they told me in their experience the court will tell me he can do whatever he wants on his own time so unless I can prove he uses and poses a danger to the kids while they are in his care none of it matters! Insane!!! I get that they see lots of things that are worse (I'm a teacher I see them too) but not allowing unsupervised visits with drug addicts could prevent a lot of that!

Im so glad you were able to get your children out of that situation and get supervised visits. I remember reading your posts when I would visit this board before that happened and always felt so heartbroken for you. Like you finally had the courage to do the right thing for you and your children and the court was punishing you for it by letting him have unsupervised visits 😢. So happy that it all worked out for you.
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