Ex in Rehab for meth abuse-file for custody?

This is the same situation that my husband and I just went through. His ex is a meth addict. When they separated, she took their 6 yr old daughter and proceeded to abandon her with various family members while she went off on her drug binges. Finally, her family called us and said that his daughter had been with them for 3 days. We immediately went and picked her up. They found her passed out in her apt. with no running water, no furniture, only a mattress on the floor. She had her daughter living there! We filed for emergency custody and got it. However, she continued to try to get custody by attempting to check her out of school, and even calling DSS (which actually helped us in the long run because they saw what kind of parents we are). Anyway, they went to court and she was ordered to take a hair analysis drug test, which she failed. Rather than having these records become public, she wanted a mediation where she signed over full custody. I can’t see a judge awarding custody to an unstable person like your husband, but I would definitely talk to your lawyer ASAP before he makes a move.

I really need some help here. I don’t know if I should go ahead and file for divorce now…it has been more than a year or if I should just wait until he makes a move. It won’t be long until he hasn’t seen her for a year and has shown no interest in his parenting duties. I don’t know if I could possibly terminate his rights, which sounds harsh, but I think it would be in my child’s best interest. I don’t want her looking up to her drug abusing dad. Im lost…someone please give me your two cents!

You should file for primary custody immediately. You cannot terminate his parental rights, he has to terminate them. If he is trying to better himself (by checking into rehab) there is even less of a chance that will happen. Protect yourself and your child NOW. Don’t wait for him! Good luck!

Dear apjones:

Greetings. You can file for divorce if you have been separated for one year. You can file for custody also, but you must serve him with notice and he will have thirty (30) days from service to respond. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

In dealing with my ex, I learned that you can terminate someone’s parental rights against their will if they make no attempt to contact their child for at least a year. So at 366 days, I would walk myself into the courthouse if I were you.
Even better for you, you could very likely file now, before the one year of no contact, because of his drug addiction.
My ex was an alcoholic/weed addicted with no driver’s license and no permanent address for about eight months and we got his rights terminated no problem. Didn’t even go the year without contact, because we showed that when he DID attempt contact, it was on school days, during school hours - it was to talk to me to try to win me back. So yea he made contact but it wasn’t for his children. And with his rap sheet and drug/alcohol history, we could easily prove that it was better for the children to have no connection to him.

AAAND, you should DEFINITELY file for custody right now, because if he’s anything like my ex, he’ll come out of rehab having turned over a new leaf (for at least two or three weeks…) and suddenly want to be all over his child, thinking that 21 days of sobriety was a magical cure that would last forever.
You might have trouble getting the divorce granted. My husband’s ex was in the hospital after a suicide attempt and they wouldn’t grant their divorce because they felt she wasn’t in a state of mind to make logical decisions while in the hospital.

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I am currently legally separated and have been since June 2005. I have full custody of my 5 year old on these papers and my ex has visitation. He has failed to exercise his visitation since Jan 2006 when he threatened to “blow our heads off”. That is a long story…went through the courts and there is a “semi” protective order through a trespassing charge. He has not offered to exercise visitation although the judge said he could pick her up at the sheriff’s dept in my county. I have just found out that he checked into a drug rehab program this week (21days)for meth/alcohol addiction. From there he will go to a halfway house 5 hours away for 6 months. Is this the right time to file for divorce and get full legal custody of my child without him being able to fight me? Will I be able to get it for the fact that he is a drug abuser?