Shared custody for a recovery Alcoholic

Parental Alienation, Malicious Mother Syndrome, dealing with the ex, and various other non-legal concerns throughout the process.

Shared custody for a recovery Alcoholic

Unread postby InTheRightFight » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:58 pm

My child's mother and I recently separated and are in the process of fighting over custody. I have been an active parent and a loving father from day 1. When she ended our relationship, she originally told me that she needed space. I gave her space and started staying away from home in hotels or the couches of friends and family. She recently decided that she does not want to reconcile at this point and wanted me to move out. She told me that she wants primary custody of our child and will seek that with the courts. I got scared and filed for custody immediately.

During our relationship I have had some struggles with alcohol that lead to some problems in our relationship. In the 7 years we were together, I got intoxicated around her around a dozen times. Three and a half years ago I got a DUI and went to rehab the day after. I spent a total of nine months in rehab from inpatient to outpatient completing everything recommended. I spent 10 days in jail. I lost my license for a year and spent a year on house arrest. I maintained full time employment the entire time After that, I had 2 relapses and have been sober for 9 months. I am currently still in treatment with a therapist and a physiatrist and every 28 days I receive an injection of vivitrol to eliminate my ability to consume alcohol. I also currently have my license again with the ignition interlock in it.

I have never been intoxicated around my child and alcohol has never effected my parenting ability or my job in any way. She has never limited anything I do with my child and lets me take him anywhere with no restrictions. She doesn't want me to share custody and has told me that she will tell the courts that she is worried about the Childs safety in my care. Her lawyer has told mine that my criminal record is what they will use to solidify her claims. I received 2 DUI 15 years ago 60 days apart when I was 22 years old and nothing else until the most recent which gives me 3 DUI 's . I know that this is very damaging. My question is will the past DUI's be enough for her claim that I am unfit to parent based on alcohol abuse? or will a judge consider my active and ongoing treatment plan as well as the infrequency of my past relapses in considering a shared custody agreement or is my past mistakes enough to sell my fate before I even get started?
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Re: Shared custody for a recovery Alcoholic

Unread postby BartSimpson » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:09 pm

Unless your child was in the car, the DUI has no relevance to your custody.

The prior convictions were something she accepted when she made a baby with you, so they cannot be used against you except to mess with your guilt complex.

Are you successful at coping with your urges to drink?
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Re: Shared custody for a recovery Alcoholic

Unread postby InTheRightFight » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:49 pm

I have had no urge to drink since taking the shot and before that my use was very few and far between and was triggered by arguments that we got in. This has been the most difficult time of my life and I did not think to drink so I am confident that I will continue with sobriety. She has made it clear to me of her intensions to grossly over exaggerate my previous use of alcohol and make claims that it I was emotionally unavailable to my child and that I drank often even when I was caring for him. I am concerned that she would be able to make these lies stick by showing a pattern of abuse when the honest reality is nothing like what she is willing to say. I asked her why she would lie in court and why she wants to keep me from my child and her response is that the child only needs her and I should be happy with visiting only. She told me her father tried getting custody of her when she was young as I way to make it difficult on her mother and she will not let me do that to our child. She also says to me she thinks I still drink and she can prove it.

I didn't think someone would be able to lie but that is what she is willing to do.

Can she prove that I still drink or rather can I prove that I don't
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Re: Shared custody for a recovery Alcoholic

Unread postby Havalu7 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:58 pm

Do you?
”No.” is a complete sentence.

Do not move out of your house.
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Re: Shared custody for a recovery Alcoholic

Unread postby BartSimpson » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:59 pm

First, I am glad to see you try Naltrexone - I have been mentioning it frequently here for others who might not understand that there is medication that helps with the urges and cravings. I asked you first about your coping, because it is proving to be successful, yet still not adopted by many physicians.

If anyone is looking over our shoulder, and thinking they might have a problem coping with the urges, I hope they take your experience with Naltrexone - right?

As for your history of drinking, I don't want to dismiss it entirely, but there certainly is not much the mother can do about it with regard to Custody. She left the children in your care while knowing you have had issues in the past, so she is equally guilty of using bad judgement with regard to protecting the children.

If the situation was reversed, and you were here telling us the mother has these issues with drinking, we would not be focused on that as a tactic to obtain custody. The bottom line is really what kind of a parent you are, not how horrible the other parent is. Does that make sense?
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Re: Shared custody for a recovery Alcoholic

Unread postby Trevor » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:23 pm

InTheRightFight wrote:I gave her space and started staying away from home in hotels or the couches of friends and family. She recently decided that she does not want to reconcile at this point and wanted me to move out.

How far from the kids are you living now? For how long?
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Re: Shared custody for a recovery Alcoholic

Unread postby InTheRightFight » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:43 am

I agree that the naltrexone injection made a big difference because it eliminates any urge and even though I was able to go many months before relapsing during times I was in recovery, I still somehow always had a relapse when faced with overwhelming stress sometimes brought on by our arguments. The naltrexone helped me to be able to cope with things without drinking.

I haven't moved out yet but she is putting a lot of pressure on me to.

Something you mentioned, brings a question to mind. You say if the situation was reversed, You would not focus on that as a tactic. I agree with that and I feel the same way. Why is it that the woman and there lawyers have no problem doing this and would gladly attempt to take good fathers away from their children by using their struggles with this disease and making that define who they are as a character? Granted, There are a lot of mothers and fathers whos alcohol and drug abuse has devastated lives and families so I am not downplaying the seriousness of the issue. But there are a lot of people like myself who may struggle in these areas, but are also great fathers and mothers.

Also, I do not drink so I wanted to see how I can prove it. My only concern is with a hair follicle test that I have read about. Can she request that I take this and how far does it detect? I ask because I have smoked pot a handful of times but the kicker is that I smoked it with my ex,
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Re: Shared custody for a recovery Alcoholic

Unread postby BartSimpson » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:03 am

Why is it that the woman and there lawyers have no problem doing this and would gladly attempt to take good fathers away from their children by using their struggles with this disease and making that define who they are as a character?
Let me unpack that for you:

It's not a disease, it's a compulsive behavior.

You are the one defining yourself with this issue, by applying the label of alcoholic.
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Re: Shared custody for a recovery Alcoholic

Unread postby Havalu7 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:02 am

And don't move out brother.
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Re: Shared custody for a recovery Alcoholic

Unread postby sqlbird » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:39 pm

Never ever move out.
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