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  1. #1
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    Default Can You Get Full Custody Based On Your Ex's Substance Abuse History

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Florida
    My son is three and a half years old and his father has never gotten a paternity test done. He is on the birth certificate and I know for a fact he is the father. We have lived with him off and on since my son was born. I left with our son at three months due to excessive drug and alcohol abuse. He went to rehab voluntarily six months later but got kicked out of the program. We got another place together in May when our son was one year and five months. We moved out again this past January. He never continued to seek help until be got put on suboxone after getting arrested for battery and strangulation charges after I called the cops one night last August. I started preparing to leave (more like escape) after that. I (idiotically) didn't cooperate with the state in his prosecution so the case would get dismissed. He would have lost his gaming licence and been fired from his job at the casino. My thought on this was "well how would he help me support our son without a job?" and took pity on him.
    He has since never helped in any way with our son. I've kept a contact and visitation log as well as screen shots of violent, harassing text messages. I know that's just considered hearsay but I wanted anything that could help. His contact has been inconsistent and he recently moved to Georgia. I have reason to believe he has been using drugs illegally again.
    I do not feel it is in my child's best interest for his father to keep him but I do not feel as if I have strong enough evidence to keep him from getting partial custody. Can I ask to have a hair strand drug test done if i pay for it and we both take it?
    He also talks bad to our son about me often in front of me on the rare occasion that he does see our son but i have no proof of that either. Can I wear a hidden camera when I'm in contact with him?
    The worst and only thing on my side is that I'm currently unemployed and we're living at my father's house. I'm currently working on finding a stable, good paying job but around here they're hard to come by. We are well supported by my father and do not go without anything needed.
    He doesn't put in much effort to keep up a relationship with our son but I know once I start this war he will fight for custody. I would like to move on with our life and build the best possible future for my son. I would like to eventually move out of state and get my degree in environmental science, get married one day, the whole hoopla without a constant fight to live our lives.
    I have no qualms with them seeing each other or having a relationship but I do not feel comfortable with them being alone.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can I Get Full Custody

    Quote Quoting stvcs
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    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Florida
    My son is three and a half years old and his father has never gotten a paternity test done. He is on the birth certificate and I know for a fact he is the father. We have lived with him off and on since my son was born. I left with our son at three months due to excessive drug and alcohol abuse. He went to rehab voluntarily six months later but got kicked out of the program. We got another place together in May when our son was one year and five months. We moved out again this past January. He never continued to seek help until be got put on suboxone after getting arrested for battery and strangulation charges after I called the cops one night last August. I started preparing to leave (more like escape) after that. I (idiotically) didn't cooperate with the state in his prosecution so the case would get dismissed. He would have lost his gaming licence and been fired from his job at the casino. My thought on this was "well how would he help me support our son without a job?" and took pity on him.
    He has since never helped in any way with our son. I've kept a contact and visitation log as well as screen shots of violent, harassing text messages. I know that's just considered hearsay but I wanted anything that could help. His contact has been inconsistent and he recently moved to Georgia. I have reason to believe he has been using drugs illegally again.
    I do not feel it is in my child's best interest for his father to keep him but I do not feel as if I have strong enough evidence to keep him from getting partial custody. Can I ask to have a hair strand drug test done if i pay for it and we both take it?
    He also talks bad to our son about me often in front of me on the rare occasion that he does see our son but i have no proof of that either. Can I wear a hidden camera when I'm in contact with him?
    The worst and only thing on my side is that I'm currently unemployed and we're living at my father's house. I'm currently working on finding a stable, good paying job but around here they're hard to come by. We are well supported by my father and do not go without anything needed.
    He doesn't put in much effort to keep up a relationship with our son but I know once I start this war he will fight for custody. I would like to move on with our life and build the best possible future for my son. I would like to eventually move out of state and get my degree in environmental science, get married one day, the whole hoopla without a constant fight to live our lives.
    I have no qualms with them seeing each other or having a relationship but I do not feel comfortable with them being alone.
    What exactly is your goal?

    Full custody will not deprive Dad from having regular - unsupervised, eventually - visitation. Without a court order you don't have to allow access at all.

    Screen shots won't help anything, nor will old text messages, nor will rumors of drug use. The court is unlikely to order drug testing based solely on your suspicion.

    As far as wearing a "hidden camera", what exactly do you think you're going accomplish?

  3. #3
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    Jul 2016
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    Default Re: Can I Get Full Custody

    I would much rather his father not be in his life than him coming around once in a blue moon and causing our son anymore confusion and heartbreak. I guess that is the goal. I've never kept him from seeing his son, I actually tried to push it as much as possible for a long time with no success.

    I eventually want to move to North Carolina. My father is moving soon and I will no longer have any family here.

    As far as the hidden camera I was hoping for a way to prove the ugly things he says to our son about me, right in front of me.

    You do not think the records of his failed drug rehab and the doctors putting him on suboxone is enough to get a drug test? They keep records of his clinic appointments and the fact that he stopped going for the treatment.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can I Get Full Custody

    Quote Quoting stvcs
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    I would much rather his father not be in his life than him coming around once in a blue moon and causing our son anymore confusion and heartbreak. I guess that is the goal. I've never kept him from seeing his son, I actually tried to push it as much as possible for a long time with no success.
    Unfortunately, he's allowed to be a crappy inconsistent parent. Full custody again won't stop him from getting an enforceable court order (though there are ways you can modify a visitation order if it becomes necessary).


    I eventually want to move to North Carolina. My father is moving soon and I will no longer have any family here.
    That wouldn't stop him from getting regular visitation either. If Dad is currently absent you might want to think about moving sooner rather than later; it's true that you can move without hassle as long as you don't have a court order. Once an order is in place, it typically becomes more difficult.


    As far as the hidden camera I was hoping for a way to prove the ugly things he says to our son about me, right in front of me.
    If he's going to act like a fool in your presence, he'll act like a fool when he's with your mutual child without you being present. Unfortunately parents can get away with a lot of badmouthing before the court will act.

    A hidden camera is NOT the right way - for one thing, recording audio is trickier (legally speaking) than merely taking video (with no audio). It's very shaky ground.


    You do not think the records of his failed drug rehab and the doctors putting him on suboxone is enough to get a drug test? They keep records of his clinic appointments and the fact that he stopped going for the treatment.
    Have you found a legal way of obtaining and submitting the rehab records and his medical records?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can I Get Full Custody

    I was worried that if I were to move before establishing a parenting plan through the court system it would look bad on me when he filed for his rights. To my understanding, since he has never validated paternity and we were never married, he has no current legal rights in Florida.

    If he were to get partial time with our son, what would happen if he chose not to keep him on his designated days? Due to his track record so far it seems likely. I truly believe he would fight just to inconvenience me out of spite. Not for his son.

    It's not looking like i can do very much to help my case. Any suggestions?

    I'm not sure how it works when it comes to his medical records. Can they be requested by the court in a situation like this?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can I Get Full Custody

    Quote Quoting stvcs
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    I was worried that if I were to move before establishing a parenting plan through the court system it would look bad on me when he filed for his rights. To my understanding, since he has never validated paternity and we were never married, he has no current legal rights in Florida.

    If he were to get partial time with our son, what would happen if he chose not to keep him on his designated days? Due to his track record so far it seems likely. I truly believe he would fight just to inconvenience me out of spite. Not for his son.

    It's not looking like i can do very much to help my case. Any suggestions?

    I'm not sure how it works when it comes to his medical records. Can they be requested by the court in a situation like this?
    Let's start at the bottom and work up from there.

    Medical records are considered to be almost "sacred" (for want of a better word) in family court and it takes a lot to convince the court that what may be contained in those records are critical to custody matters. To put it a different way, raging alcoholics and even confirmed addicts can actually obtain and keep custody of their own children - drug use is not necessarily a threat to the child in and of itself. The same goes for parents who have to take large amounts of narcotic painkillers, or several anxiolytics to function normally, and the parent who suffers from a condition requiring major pharmaceutical or other therapeutic measures; it's actually quite rare for a parent to be deprived of regular contact with his/her children due to their illness. Supervised visitation can be arranged if necessary.

    So, now we come to custody and visitation. It's a virtual guarantee that you'll retain primary (residential) custody, with Dad having regular parenting time. Visitation is his right, and your obligation - in other words, you have to make the child available but he doesn't actually have to exercise his visitation. This doesn't mean that the CP has to sit around waiting for something or nothing to happen, by any means - but typically they're obliged to give the NCP contact information and be able to meet within X amount of time if the NCP decides to show up.

    If the NCP is habitually hit-or-miss, the CP can ask the court to modify the order to include a forfeiture clause - in other words, if he doesn't show Friday night and makes no effort to contact you or make other arrangements, the entire weekend is forfeited. Make sense?

    Finally, moving. Because there are no court orders, you are free to move wherever you wish to move (within the US at least). Dad can of course immediately rush into court and file for custody and if he does you're going to have to deal with it in Florida and that's going to get complicated (and expensive). But if you move and you've been there for even 6 months and he doesn't file anything, the Florida courts will be reluctant to even look at his petition let alone rule that you must return the child.

    I think that just about covers it - make sense so far?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can I Get Full Custody

    Yes it does. What about the fact that he has moved to Georgia? He only moved three weeks ago but by time I start this process he'll have been there for over six months. Would he be able to take my son out of state?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can I Get Full Custody

    Quote Quoting stvcs
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    Yes it does. What about the fact that he has moved to Georgia? He only moved three weeks ago but by time I start this process he'll have been there for over six months. Would he be able to take my son out of state?

    If he already lives out of state, there's about zero chance that you'd be forced to move back to Florida - end of story.

    Yes, eventually, your mutual child will be traveling out of state. Start Googling long-distance parenting plans, and be aware that at 5 years old the child can travel UM ... even if you don't like it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can I Get Full Custody

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
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    If he already lives out of state, there's about zero chance that you'd be forced to move back to Florida - end of story.

    Yes, eventually, your mutual child will be traveling out of state. Start Googling long-distance parenting plans, and be aware that at 5 years old the child can travel UM ... even if you don't like it.


    Its not guaranteed however that a judge would order that a 5 year old travel UM. It all depends on the judge's opinion of what is or isn't too young to fly UM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can I Get Full Custody

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    [/B]

    Its not guaranteed however that a judge would order that a 5 year old travel UM. It all depends on the judge's opinion of what is or isn't too young to fly UM.
    Nobody said otherwise.

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