Reply Mon 2 May, 2016 08:55 pm
I was in a relationship with a drug addict and alcoholic for two years. I was in this relationship for two years because I was abused, and I had a baby, and I was scared to do anything. I was financially tethered to this person. I finally started counseling, and left him. I've been taking care of our son who is now 2 on my own with zero support from the Father. In fact, he moved multiple states away. One week before my custody trial he decides to hire a lawyer and contest custody. I have a decade long file of his thefts, drug arrests, DUI's, recent probation violation, testimony, and multiple recordings in which he admits to driving my infant son around drunk and high, admits he cheated on probation drug tests, doesn't think marijuana is a big deal, etc. He moved to AZ where he can get marijuana legally. He doesn't work, yet finds money for weed and an attorney and can't help his son. So you would this case is a no brainer. Yet, in pre-trial my "progressive" judge said he believes in second chances. My ex goes through detox symptoms if he doesn't have a drink or smoke within 2 days, judge wants my kid there for two weeks per year. I said NO WAY and asked for a trial. My exes attorney is making me look like the bad person by repeatedly asking me how I think one hour supervised visitation is meaningful contact. All I can say is, my ex chose to move very far away for marijuana. She then asks me how I think it is reasonable for my ex to pay for travel expenses. He wants to get out of child support because he says he will have to pay for travel. The judge didn't admit half of his criminal record into the trial. My attorney says they can't enforce mandatory drug testing into the agreement because my ex lives out of state. I can't take this anymore. I feel like the legal system doesn't take abuse or mental illness or addiction seriously. The judge is going to put my son in harms way and I'm just going to have to deal with it? I feel like my attorney sucks. I've paid 10K for what? He wasn't prepared at all for my ex to show up. He didn't have his criminal records ready to go. His questioning sucked. I just want to give up. I think I'm just going to have to accept the law doesn't give a **** about keeping innocent children safe and I'm very depressed. It's like I'm already planning for a dreaded phone call in the future. My ex landed himself in the ICU multiple times from overdoses, documented. This whole thing is ridiculous. I read stories online from women who made up that their husband was abusive and an alcoholic and they got full custody. I have evidence my ex had issues for TEN YEARS and he's getting joint physical custody? I tried calling other lawyers, nobody wants to take a case halfway through trial and I have like 5K tops I can spend additionally on this. I wish I just would have went to mediation and saved myself the money, because the law just doesn't care. At least not in Jackson county MO! I'm a square, not one charge in my life, graduate educated medical professional and clearly the "fit" parent. I'm so depressed and sad for my son, he's going to suffer for sure emotionally and mentally (I can fix that) but I won't be able to fix him if my ex is in a wreck, or leaves him screaming crying in a hot room all night, or lets him around marijuana smoke, or he gets into things he shouldn't because Dad is too busy getting high. Sometimes I think I should have terminated the pregnancy or done adoption, I had no idea that the courts would give an addict felon custody. What can I do? Call CPS when my child is in Arizona and hope they find marijuana in the house? What piece of the puzzle am I missing here? Someone please help me, what can I do to protect my son from his "sperm donor"
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Type: Question • Score: 6 • Views: 2,065 • Replies: 3
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Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 01:19 am
Many people have an unrealistic expectation of the law.

You are quite right in saying the law doesn't care - it doesn't care - anywhere. And it's not there to care. It's a set of rules. It's there to set boundaries, and manage situations in a black & white way...

.....unfortunately, when you have family conflict involved, it's rarely black and white.

As examples here:
- you mention his criminal drug history, yet make no mention whether or not he is still offending; and
- you don't mention whether or not you have similar drug / crime problems

None of that is to say that you are a drug addiction etc - but rather, its a recognition that people in disputes, when talking to a 3rd party (in this case the court), often withhold information on themselves / their behaviour to paint themselves in a favourable light - and I've no doubt family law courts are well aware of this. The common enough experience of vested interests, withholding of information, and attempts to paint the other party in the worst possible light, is what makes family law so much more grey

My exes attorney is making me look like the bad person by repeatedly asking me how I think one hour supervised visitation is meaningful contact.
Answer: 1 hour supervised visit isn't meaningful contact. The reason for it being supervised & only 1 hour is.... (you'd probably get interrupted at this stage as you'd already answered the question - but the reason, is what your lawyer is there to elicit for the court)

That's the court case. But whatever the outcome, how you handle it will be how your children learn to deal with conflict:
- if you deal with calmly and with explanation to them, they will learn how to do that
- if you deal with it through hysteria, they will learn that is an acceptable way to deal with conflict that goes against you
- if you deal with it through petty revenge, they will learn to deal with conflict in that way
- if you deal with it with dignity, they will learn to deal with conflict in a dignified manner
- if you deal with it with anxiety, they will learn that
- if you deal with it by always looking for the (positive) lesson, they will learn to look for positives in adversity...etc

You have plenty to teach your children about life, how to handle conflict, how to make the best through adversity, and how to live a happy life even when things go wrong.

It may give you something to strive for.

Best wishes.
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Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2016 02:27 am
Whatever happened to you was sad but at least now you are on your own and doing good.
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Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2016 06:49 am
How old is the child now?

Does he want VISITATION or joint custody?

You really can't prevent him from having a visitation with your son. In fact, now that he is "in the system" you might get some support $$.

How exactly will this visitation work?
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