Mental Disease?

This certainly sounds like a situation where legal intervention is going to be needed. You are walking on eggshells afraid to upset him, when the reality is no matter what you do, he is going to be upset at some point. You should stop worrying about him and start worrying about your girls. If they are in conditions that are unsafe, and living with someone who certainly appears to be an alcoholic who cannot provide for their needs, then the court can and will assist you in getting them out of this situation. Your first step should be a consultation with a lawyer.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

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301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

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Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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My husband and I have been separated since Thanksgiving, when I moved out of the marital home. At the time he had two dogs, a cat and fish tanks and four small birds. We have two daughters (age 13 and 10) whom we share time with 50/50. Here our my concerns… he is a daily drinker of at least 9 beers/day, it’s usually 12; secondly, since my moving out, he has acquired a whole menagerie of more pets… he’s adopted two more dogs, two more cats, a guinea pig, a hamster, two lizards, a ball python snake, and a scorpion. When I have gone to the home to pick up the kids he has the kitchen sink piled high with dishes. The counters, and any other surface in the home are piled high with mail, clothing, clutter, etc. As to the dishes in the sink, when the girls go over there after being with me for a few days, the dishes are still there and he insists that they clean them up. I think that is unfair since they haven’t been there for days, and these dishes are obviously not their mess, or if they are, he’s been too lazy to load the dishwasher for 5 or more days…We do not have a separation agreement, and he is very angry and mean when we have any conversations at all. He acts more like a child than the children do.
What to do? I’d like to limit his time with the kids, since he’s verbally and emotional abusive (a real shame generator). The condition of the house is deplorable, with the stench of urine and feces stains on the carpet. My 10 year old daughter sleeps with him every night, since her room is such a mess she cannot sleep in there. I have been reluctant to pursue any legal avenues for decreasing his time with the kids because he’s very mean to me when he feels like I’m threatening anything that he feels belongs to him. Secondly the kids love their dad and I’m afraid that my pushing for him to get help with his various mental health issues, while limiting the time with the kids will make them hate me… any advice you could provide would be great. Give me the strength to stand up for my kids.
JoAnn (