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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default Custodial Parent Withholding Child Because of Sober Living

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: California
    . I have been legally separated for almost 6 years. I have a 7 year old son, for whom my ex and i have only gone to mediation. We have a 50/50 timeshare, joint physical and joint legal. its a 2/2/3 2/2/3 split. No exact time for pickup was specified. we agreed to split holidays (again, no exact time.) we have yet to finish our divorce.
    My ex and i married young, we got into drugs, which once our child was born, caused us to separate.
    It was my current girlfriend who encouraged me to get something in writing. I agreed to a 50/50 share because my ex was clean at the time. My ex went on meth bender for some months and left my son with her mother on her days. I had no idea what to do at the time. I assumed you could delegate your parenting time on your days as you saw fit, without first rights? Anyway, she's back. And i was happy my son was seeing his mother, but she's not very emotionally stable. She has been telling our son things. She focuses on me. And "explains" to our son why we divorced, telling him that i am a loser and a liar. I ruined her life. She sends texts to me stating, "youre selfish for trying to force our son to leave his mother!" (when i call to coordinate pick up) and says "he is only happy when he is with me (her), trust me, liar!" she says these things in front of my kid. He's asking why i lied to his mother during our marriage. This relationship ended over 6?years ago. She actually said she was jealous, she wants him to "know" me as a low life and only wants him to WANT to be with her. She verbally told me this. She said she has no problem exposing me to him.
    I've been struggling with MY sobriety. I want to stay clean, so i have been going to meetings. I decided to go to a sober living house. I don't want to relapse. This is not a rehab, but a house to stay the night sober. You go to meetings, drug test and can come and go for work or family as you please (as this is voluntary) your family can even come and hang out until 10pm. I thought my girlfriend would just keep my son during sleep time and i would come take the kids to school, the houses are about 20 minutes apart. I went against my girlfriend and told my ex i was going to a sober living for a month. Her response was, good for you. A couple days later, i get a letter saying we have a mediation appointment scheduled late jan. Its the day our sons winter break started. I hadn't decided to enroll in sober living yet, as it was almost Christmas. I tried to phone to ask about the mediation appt. She'd set, but her phone was shut off. I tried to phone ex's mother, but hers was also shut off. I went to her house on my regularly scheduled day, as my son wasn't at school that day, and she refused to answer the door. Called the police and asked if there was someone who would come over and assist in the pickup of my son. An officer came and she finally answered the door. She told the cop I admitted I was using (which never happened) and that she had had full custody of our son for 2 months. I was dumbstruck. The woman who is recently back from a bender. I have been sober for 4 years. The officer obviously couldn't remove our son for me. I asked that the officer log a detailed report of the event. I have gone over with officers another time. She ignored the holiday, to show my son Santa doesn't exist (she doesn't do holidays) Its been over two weeks since I've seen my kid, if my son wasn't on break, i could just go pick him up from school. I really don't know her plan. If she filed, surely i would have received something by now? I am concerned she will attempt to keep him out of school because she knows that I will just pick him up. Should I go to court and file contempt since she is refusing me on my days? And will my want to go to an open sober living house affect my custody?
    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Ncp Withholding Child Because of Sober Living

    Why are you referring to Mom as the NCP?

    Are you actually sober now? If so - and this may be important to the court - why are you needing to enter a sober living house? I know that you want to STAY clean. I get that. But if you're in fear of relapse, you need to address it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Ncp Withholding Child Because of Sober Living

    First question: Has this mediation plan been ordered by the court? Or is it voluntary? Unless a JUDGE signed the agreement and ordered it, then it would not be contempt to not follow the plan.

    You should probably file a new visitation plan to reflect your sober living situation if that is what you want to do.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Ncp Withholding Child Because of Sober Living

    The mediation recently scheduled was voluntary. It's my ex's writing. With a card from the mediator.
    As far as the sober living, I can be with my son all day after school. At least, that was my understanding? Would I need to modify my 50/50 split when I just leave over night? He's with my girlfriend, in our home, in his bed. Is it because i CANT be with him over night?
    Thank you for responding.

    Do you mean our current parenting plan? Yes, that was signed by a judge.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Ncp Withholding Child Because of Sober Living

    If you are leaving the child with your girlfriend, I can see why your ex might have an issue with that. If YOU are not going to be there, then why have the overnight visitations?

    I suggest you modify the plan to reflect the situation to maybe just be visitations and no overnights if you are not going to be around.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Custodial Parent Withholding Child Because of Sober Living

    If your ex- is not permitting you to exercise your visitation, file a motion with the court to compel compliance with the court's order and to obtain make-up parenting time.

    While I want to take your story at face value, if you're struggling to the point of entering sober living, and need the security of knowing that you'll be subject to random testing, it sounds like you've had a few slips. Also, frankly, a thirty day commitment is pretty short. You either need the support and structure of sober living or you don't - if you're on the edge but are choosing not to get the support you need, you know where that leads.

    What are you doing right now? Are you doing "90 in 90"? Calling your sponsor every day? Seeking counseling through a center that requires random testing?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Ncp Withholding Child Because of Sober Living

    The sober living is most likely a very temporary thing. I haven't actually gone anywhere. The issue doesn't appear to be who I'm leaving him with (my girlfriend.) I must be using and endangering our son (her thinking). She is very recently sober and chances are (if we are following her patterns) she will end up leaving our son with her mother on her custody days. Would it make a difference if I left my son overnight with my folks? She threw a fit about our son overnighting with my parents. She is withholding my son in attempt to make me suffer. she can designate her mother as our sons caretaker in her absence, but I can't designate my girlfriend or my folks in mine?
    I haven't seen my son. I haven't gone anywhere. What can I do currently? Do I just wait until Jan 23rd (her scheduled mediation) to bring up her hiding our son? I don't want to wait that long to see my kid. She can't hide my kid because I told her I was considering sober living right?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Ncp Withholding Child Because of Sober Living

    The purpose of the scheduled mediation is what?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Custodial Parent Withholding Child Because of Sober Living

    My sister was murdered (in front of me) a few years ago, this time of year is always a struggle. i Have ptsd, so i am engaged in continuing counseling, especially HEAVY this time of year. not taking prescription medication. I go to a holistic practitioner ( please no judgment on alt. Medicine.) I am calling my sponsor everyday. Yes, engaged in meetings everyday. I offered to drug test to my ex. Yes, i understand how a sober living works and the security behind the random testing, etc. My current girlfriend thinks I need more support than counseling and meetings and my sponsor can give me, so i agreed to a sober living.

    I don't know the purpose of the scheduled mediation. My ex won't speak to me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Custodial Parent Withholding Child Because of Sober Living

    If you received a notice to appear at a mediation and truly cannot figure out the purpose of the hearing, all we can do is tell you to consult a lawyer as you're out of your depths.

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