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  1. #1

    Default Non-Custodial Parent Was Involved in a Drunk Driving Accident, Poor Communication

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: ILLINOIS

    My ex husband had a DUI in 2010 and a Misdemeanor, as he was driving drunk with my son in the car. He recently drove drunk and smashed his car right before I dropped my son off at his house. I didn't know he was drunk at first, and when I figured it out, he chased me out of his house and then I saw his car had been smashed. I really didn't know what to do at that split second as he was in his own house, not on the road. His girl friend called me 15 minutes after this incident and begged that I don't go to the police. So I didn't. BIG MISTAKE. He promised the next day he would go to AA or get help. This was in March 2015.

    Since that time, the ex has foreclosed on his house, and has been fighting over our visitation schedule. The joint parenting agreement states we have joint custody and we are to exchange "every 7 days". I told him that I have to travel in July for two weeks and asked him to help me figure out our "one week on, one week off" schedule. What he has done, however, is insist that he gets him all four weeks in July (taking him for my weeks) and keep his own weeks without any consideration.

    The JPA also states that the parties agree that the involvement and maximum cooperation of both parents is in the minor childs best interest.

    He won't answer my phone calls, (which are kept to a minimum and only related to my son)and he won't let my son talk to me on the phone. He won't return my phone calls when I am trying to talk to my son. His child support checks are always two weeks late. He won't supply life insurance information that is required annually.

    Bottom line, he is violating the joint parenting agreement. And if I wanted to really get ugly, I should have gone right to the police in March and asked for full custody.

    I am considering hiring an attorney to get this straightened out once and for all. How good are my chances if I take him to court? Could his girlfriend be called as a witness that he was drinking and driving? She won't like it but she is mature and reasonable and if she was required to testify, I believe she would tell the truth.

    I am tired of fighting with him. Worse yet, I am concerned that he is a lousy father when he is drinking. Do I have a good case? What is my best route?

    Thank you, in advance, for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Somewhere near Canada

    Default Re: Ex Husband -Dui, Alcoholism, Ignoring Joint Parenting Agreement-How to Proceed

    If you didn't address it in court at the time, you may find the judge rolling his eyes just a little - it does come across as retaliation for him not wanting to swap weeks with you.

    2 weeks late on child support? You're still GETTING the child support, yes? Then it's a non-issue.

    Does your order give you both telephone visitation? If not, he's not doing anything wrong (at least legally speaking).

    If your order is to exchange every 7 days, that's what you have to do.

    What you can do, is get the order clarified. Request telephone visitation or Skype. I don't see anything wrong with him having the child while you're not available and adding the time to his parenting schedule; it's more or less a ROFR situation. Likewise, if he was away for two weeks I'd expect you to look after the child for those times in addition to your scheduled time.

    Would it be nice if he would accommodate you? Yes, it would. But he's not obliged to accommodate you yet.

    So we've dealt with the parenting time and the child support issue. Obviously the two of you can't coparent effectively so I'm going to suggest that you ask the court to order My Family Wizard as a means of communication about your child. It really can save your sanity.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quick question. Does he have any driving restrictions right now? Interlock device? Anything like that?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ex Husband -Dui, Alcoholism, Ignoring Joint Parenting Agreement-How to Proceed

    One thing to remember - you're only really talking about one week in July. Unless your order addresses situations such as one of you travelling on your scheduled week, Dad is under no obligation to swap weeks with you due to your schedule. So he'd still be getting his regular every other seven days. He's helping you out with one of your weeks, so he'd not be out of line to have three sets of seven days in a row.

    As for being a "lousy" father on his time? What proof do you have of that? And how much of it is a parenting difference? Fact is - you left your child with him when he was drunk - and did nothing when you realized he was. It's your word against his. And his g/f will likely say she doesn't recall how much (or if) he drank. And that she doesn't know what caused the accident. Not blasting you, but the court isn't going to just go by your say-so.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    So Cal

    Default Re: Ex Husband -Dui, Alcoholism, Ignoring Joint Parenting Agreement-How to Proceed

    And in fact, it might go against you since you didn't act at the time, weren't in his vehicle, didn't witness the accident, etc. etc. etc.. Yea, you can also expect that his current GF will suddenly be stricken with amnesia if called to testify against dad.

    There are some CPs who would be grateful to receive support checks even if they're two weeks late. That's not a big deal. I take it that support isn't being collected by the state via wage garnishment?

    You do have two viable issues - the lack of communication during visitation and failure to provide proof of life insurance. You can ask the court to allow conversations with your son via Skype or phone once or twice per each 7 days of visitation time and ask that he submit proof of insurance and beneficiary to the court.

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