Alcoholism and Child Custody


#1

I have been married to a functional alcoholic for four years. We are divorcing but I have not left the house yet due to custody concerns and fear that he will take our child out of state (regardless of the law) because he has no family or friends in NC.

I am an intelligent and educated person who married a “pathological liar” in every clinical sense of the word, in addition to being a chronic alcoholic. We married after dating a short period of time. After a short time in the marriage I knew that I had made a gross error in judgement. I believed the lies until I knew better with time and inconsistencies. I found out last year that he has a documented history of DUI’s and DWI’s in another state from some time in the past. He was required by the courts to attend AA. He drinks at home behind closed doors so most people do not know that he is an alcoholic.

He looks gentle but is a very frightening person. He has become extremely verbally abusive in the last six months. I am trying to be as deliberate as possible in leaving him due to custody issues. He prides himself in “winning people over”. Thus I am concerned that he would perform well on a psychological eval. I want him to get help for our child’s sake. I have lived a very closed life since our child’s birth and will not leave our child alone with him for more than a few hours and definitely not overnight. Thus the thought of him having any form of overnight custody is unfathomable. He says that I have no proof and would hurt me if he did not get joint custody. How can I prove that he is still drinking and is an alcoholic to protect our child?


#2

In additional to a psychological evaluation I suggest you ask the court for a domestic violence order of protection and that a substance abuse evaluation be performed.


#3

Wondering out loud here: Would she have ground for a divorce from B&B here? And if so, would it be wise for her to leave, file for that B&B, and emergency custody? And then once the B&B is granted, move back into her home?

Also, would it be prudent to not allow visitation until it is set up through the courts, given her fears?


#4

Divorce from bed and board could be filed, but if she is leaving, it is not necessary as the parties would be separated physically after her departure.
She may withhold visitation if she believes the child is in danger, but will not need to file for emergency custody unless he is attempting to take the child from her.


#5

I am in a simular situation. I haven’t asked for a divorce yet because I cannot allow my husband to have the kids alone. He is an alcoholic and thinks nothing of drinking and driving with kids in the car. At this point I take them everywhere. I fear that if we separate he will try to drive the kids somewhere when he has them in his care. How does a substance abuse evaluation work for alcohol since it is out of your system so quickly? How can I ensure that he cannot drive the kids anywhere? I have tons of documentation of his drinking, but that would probably be considered heresay. He had a few DUIs before we had kids but it’s been more than 7 years so they won’t show on his record anymore. He has also been through a couple rounds of a residentail rehab program. I understand that divorce from B&B is not used much these days, but can it be used if I can prove that he is an active alcoholic?


#6

A professional psychologist or psychiatrist can do an evaluation that does not involve a physical test.
Habitual drunkenness is a ground for filing a divorce from bed an board.