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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 05-08-2017, 06:17 PM
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Default I might have to go to court - last straw?

Hi everyone,

I'm thinking I may need to go to court. Here's the situation:

As most of the regulars know, I have shared parenting (50/50) of one child with ex. Ex has major addiction and mental illness problems, and is kind of a jerk in general. His issues have gotten much worse over the last year and a half (in and out of psych wards, rehab and couch-surfing), so that Kid has ended up living almost 100% with me.

Last week ex showed up drunk at Kid's school and tried to pick her up (he and I had agreed he would pick her up that day). Staff and other parents physically intervened to prevent him from driving away with her. They asked him to leave the premises, he refused and became argumentative, police were called. They removed him from the premises but did not charge him. I came and took Kid home. (Ex has now been banned from the premises).

I'm thinking that this may be the end of the road for shared parenting. I'm going to attempt mediation with ex because our order says we have to, but my goal is to have Kid legally residing primarily with me (and no, this is not all about child support. I've been paying ex offset for the past year while Kid was living with me). I am willing to facilitate lots of access for ex. If we can't come to an agreement in mediation, I am thinking that I will have to go to court to make an application to vary the order.

Questions:

Is this indeed a last straw? Ex will argue that I am being unfair and he should get another chance - after all, the police have only been called once, he'll make sure it doesn't happen again, etc etc.

Does anyone have any experience in parenting agreements with addicts? For example, I would like something in writing saying that he will not drive with her in the car - if he was caught last week trying to drive drunk with her, how many times was he not caught? Is this possible or reasonable?

I don't want to close the door completely on shared parenting if he somehow manages to get his act together. Any ideas for how to word a clause saying "if you're able to demonstrate that you're a competent adult, we can revisit parenting"? How would I be able to determine whether his act is together?

Tips or thoughts very welcome.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:24 PM
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I hate to say this but what about CAS involvement? Or possibly supervised access? At least for six months? Showing up at school drunk is one thing, trying to drive drunk with your child is another.

I for one will never judge you taking some action to protect your child and yes its her father but he hasnt shown he has his shit together even after all the treatment. Addicts do lead positive, healthy lives with ongoing treatment. He has been able to co parent in the past. He needs to get control of his issues for the sake of his child and you are not wrong to want that.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:37 PM
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The police reported the incident to the Child At Risk unit (which liaises with CAS). I also called CAS and reported the incident to the caseworker who got involved when police were called to ex's residence last summer in a domestic dispute. So it's on CAS' radar.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
Is this indeed a last straw? Ex will argue that I am being unfair and he should get another chance - after all, the police have only been called once, he'll make sure it doesn't happen again, etc etc.

Does anyone have any experience in parenting agreements with addicts? For example, I would like something in writing saying that he will not drive with her in the car - if he was caught last week trying to drive drunk with her, how many times was he not caught? Is this possible or reasonable?

I don't want to close the door completely on shared parenting if he somehow manages to get his act together. Any ideas for how to word a clause saying "if you're able to demonstrate that you're a competent adult, we can revisit parenting"? How would I be able to determine whether his act is together?

Tips or thoughts very welcome.
Has he admitted to being drunk that day? Did the police allow him to drive him or ask him to blow in a Breathalyzer ?

What evidence do you have to prove he is an addict ? Is this documented or just he said she said ?

By the wording of your order, you MUST do mediation first. Likely he will have to do counselling or something if he admits to being drunk and there to drive the kids drunk - or perhaps supervised access.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:51 PM
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Get the police file #.

You do whatever you have to do to protect your child (mentally and physically).

I'd get an Order and then contemplate all the mushy/I'm a new man/addictive lying that he will surely throw your way.

Under the circumstances I would not think that you would have to go through mediation. Make sure the Order has stipulations of alcohol/drug testing (which he has to pay for).

Just do it (good luck to you)
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinton View Post
Has he admitted to being drunk that day? Did the police allow him to drive him or ask him to blow in a Breathalyzer ?

What evidence do you have to prove he is an addict ? Is this documented or just he said she said ?

By the wording of your order, you MUST do mediation first. Likely he will have to do counselling or something if he admits to being drunk and there to drive the kids drunk - or perhaps supervised access.
He's admitted he was drunk that day - upset about impending divorce from wife #2, drove to the liquor store, drank a whole pile of booze, then decided it would be fine to pick up Kid for the evening. He's also an addict - three rehab stints plus by his own acknowledgment.
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Old 05-09-2017, 12:06 AM
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Assuming everythiing you are saying is accurate true and there are no extenuating circumstances. Go for full custody. You can add clauses:
-if ex seems rehab
-if gets table lodging
-keeps it stable for 6 months then You will reconsider and if he disagrees the can file a motion in court.
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Old 05-09-2017, 09:00 AM
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Stripes, I can only imagine how difficult this has been for you and your child. Your child needs you to be the major stable influence in her life(which you have been). You absolutely should formalize you being primary parent. I think you have been more than generous to dad under the circumstances, and I know you will continue to facilitate their relationship as best as you can.

Good luck.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
Is this indeed a last straw?
For the time being and until the parent in question can get appropriate addiction treatment. You really have no other option. Sorry to say.

You now have the school as a witness to the conduct. Surprised they didn't call CAS regarding the incident. I was under the impression that the police are obligated to contact the CAS for any domestic incident that involves a child.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad1985 View Post
Ex will argue that I am being unfair and he should get another chance - after all, the police have only been called once, he'll make sure it doesn't happen again, etc etc.
You have to frame it in the larger picture. Here we have a parent who has been admitted to various addiction treatment programs. Now showing up to a school to pickup a child intoxicated. It is not this single occurrence that you will be arguing. It is simply the straw that broke the camels back.

It is not the single occurrence but, all things that lead up to this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad1985 View Post
Does anyone have any experience in parenting agreements with addicts?
Generally, they involve requirements for treatment of the addiction. I wouldn't recommend you get into trying to "manage" the addiction. It should be very limited access at a specific location where you do the transport until such time the other parent completes addiction therapy.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:23 PM
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The school allowed him to drive home drunk? Both the school and police? Wouldn't that be an automatic DUI and trip to the station? They're very big on driving drunk.
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