NJ in rehab

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NJ in rehab

Postby lukesdad1 » Tue May 08, 2012 10:33 am

NJ called yesterday to inform me that she was checking into a year-long drug rehab/mental health program. We have joint custody, I'm primary. She currently has EOW < parenting time >.

1) She's asked that S10 be allowed to continue < parenting time > with his stepfamily. I'm going to say no.

2) She's asked that after three months, S10 be allowed to visit her at the facility. I've made that mistake before. I'm going to say no.

3) What are her child support obligations? She obviously quit her nursing job, so she has no income.

4) Obviously, I'm going to court for full custody, but I'm worried that she's going to waltz back in and out of his life as she pleases. Are there any other legal protections that I can try to implement?

5) My wife has, and will continue, to raise my son with me. What legal actions can I take to give her more parental power? I'm pretty sure I already know the answer, but I'm scared to death of where he would be if something were to happen to me.

Thanks everyone! It's great to know that I can rely on the great people on this forum for help before I make the trip to see my lawyer.
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Re: NJ in rehab

Postby defaultuser » Tue May 08, 2012 10:53 am

lukesdad1 wrote:3) What are her child support obligations? She obviously quit her nursing job, so she has no income.
Until and unless she files for a modification, she owes you the same amount in CS that she did before.

As for the rest of your questions, I think you'll have your work set out for you. You're basically going after full custody and/or terminating her parental rights. Just because mom goes into rehab to better herself is not a reason that she should not be allowed to see jr.

You need to show some kind of negative impact on your kid, and rehab probably isn't going to be it.

Talk to a lawyer, but what I'd consider is putting some distance between you and her. If you lived many miles away, it would be harder for her to get back into his life and moving away in your current situation (as long as you had a reason such as a job offer) would probably be granted if she contested it.
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Re: NJ in rehab

Postby lukesdad1 » Tue May 08, 2012 11:05 am

Thank you, defaultuser. Maybe a little more history would be in order.

This is the third time she's gone away in the last three years. This is the second time for drugs. I can't imagine that a judge couldn't draw the line between that and its effect on a child. I know the judge personally, so that might help as well.
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Re: NJ in rehab

Postby defaultuser » Tue May 08, 2012 11:10 am

If you could present evidence that demonstrated that mom was high in front of the kid in the past and will likely do it again, in and out of rehab, out of control, you may have a case if she doesn't fight you on it.

Its really hard to terminate parental rights. You could perhaps go for supervised < parenting time >.
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Re: NJ in rehab

Postby lukesdad1 » Tue May 08, 2012 11:15 am

I was thinking supervised < parenting time > as well. The judge had ordered that on a temporary basis the last time that she went in. I would be hard pressed to prove that she was high in front of him, even though i know that she was.
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Re: NJ in rehab

Postby Trevor » Tue May 08, 2012 11:25 am

Silence may be your best response for the moment.

1. If the stepfamily are not wackjobs like his mother, keeping those additional loving relationships in his life may be stabilizing. Think about the child, not just how to extricate him from half of his family. Unless they're idiots.

2. Will take your word on your previous experience with visiting mom...perhaps you can make it contingent on her successful attainment of rehabilitative milestones. But then again, you probably don't want to spend your time tracking that and working with her rehab staffers. Think of the kid and the fact that this is his mom, like it or not. She will be in his life, and your job is to help him best deal with it.

3. She has her present level of obligation unless/until she files for a reduction. Your child deserves her financial support, and if not "needed" presently to clothe, feed, and educate him, he'll need it later for college.

4. Not sure your better strategy would be filing for a graduated and supervised plan, contingent on random and clean drug tests for a certain period of time before unsupervised is permitted, after she is released from treatment. Full custody is hard to get. Not sure if self-admittance into such a program is a mitigating factor (vis a vis it being court-ordered). Maybe this can include suspension of joint while she is in the treatment center. Worth checking out so you don't chase expensive waterfalls.

5. Your wife isn't his next of kin. But if the kid loves her and trusts her, she will always be in his life. That's enough power, no?
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Re: NJ in rehab

Postby lukesdad1 » Tue May 08, 2012 11:45 am

Damn, ya'll are great!

1) They're good people, but they just moved into her husband's mom's house and he sleeps in their bedroom. I haven't been happy about that.

2) His counselor scolded me about the last time that i took him and i trust her.

3) Understood

4) I may well be wrong, but i have a feeling that she wouldn't fight it. Either way, what you're suggesting is wise.

5) I get choked up thinking about it. I guess power wasn't a good choice of words.
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Re: NJ in rehab

Postby massdaddio » Tue May 08, 2012 11:52 am

Consult with a lawyer. You may be able to put something in your will that you would like your wife to be guardian of your child should anything happen to you. Maybe make it your wife and your parents, that way your ex would have to fight against the stability of a step-mother and grandparents.
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Re: NJ in rehab

Postby Trevor » Tue May 08, 2012 12:01 pm

lukesdad1 wrote:I get choked up thinking about it.

We love our kids too, bro. Let `em flow.
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Re: NJ in rehab

Postby Fatheroffour » Tue May 08, 2012 12:05 pm

massdaddio wrote:Consult with a lawyer. You may be able to put something in your will that you would like your wife to be guardian of your child should anything happen to you. Maybe make it your wife and your parents, that way your ex would have to fight against the stability of a step-mother and grandparents.


That won't work for the same reasons gotcha clauses are not enforceable in parenting plans. Should two people disagree, in this case the bio mom and the widowed step mom, the court will exercise it's right to rule on the law.

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