Modification of Custody/Visitation/CS

My ex and I have been divorced since August 2009 - he is currently living with his dad. He is an alcoholic who continues to drink while he has visitation with my son. Two weeks ago my 7 year old son tells me that daddy was “acting crazy” (his term for being drunk) and made him go to the store with him because no one else was home. So, the ex drove my son while he was drunk. I contacted social services and have had several home visits and just last week signed an Assessment stating that I will not let the ex drive my son under any circumstances, plus I agreed to seek a modification of the order and ask for supervised visitation (the ex, his dad and his daughter have also signed an Assessment stating he is not allowed to drive the son). He has shown this behavior for many years now and it appears to be getting worse. He currently picks our son up from school on Tues/Thurs and brings him home at 8 pm, plus he has visitation every other weekend. He is also entitled to one week visitation out of the three weeks he is tracked out throughout the year.

I now have to seek a modification of our agreement - I am going to ask that the weekday visits stop, that he does not transport our son, that his weekend visits are supervised, and that the track out weeks stop. Given the circumstances, I am also going to ask for sole custody because I cannot effectively co-parent with an alcoholic. I will also ask to increase cs to help pay for the additional expense of after school care. I am meeting with someone this week from the File It Yourself Clinic because I simply don’t have the money to hire an attorney again. Am I foolish to represent myself? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I don’t believe it is foolish to represent yourself, but I do think you would be much better served if you hire an attorney. If your ex earns substantially more than you do, you may seek an award of attorney’s fees as part of your action to modify.

The advice I received from the File It Yourself Clinic was to first file a motion to Modify Custody Order and Change of Venue. I filed these forms and have a hearing tomorrow for the change of venue from Granville to Wake County. I am taking a copy of my lease and my son’s report card which shows we live in Wake County and he attends school in the same. If this is approved tomorrow, will I have to have an order prepared for the judge to sign? Or will the court provide any necessary paperwork? I am hoping that this does not end up being an all day affair and would like to be prepared so that I do not have to go back to Granville County.Thanks!

The judge will prepare the Order for you, or if you feel comfortable you may prepare a proposed order to present.