Colin tackles a number of questions about child custody, divorce, and child support modifications this week on the radio. One Portland husband and father asks if his ex-girlfriend can use his past as an alcoholic against him. The caller asks:
“I have a seven year old son with my ex-girlfriend. We have been separated for the last 6 months. I have him every other weekend and times during the week. She consistently jerks me around and changes the times. She says that if I mess with her she will use the fact that I am an alcoholic against me and I will only get supervised visitation. I have been clean for 2 years. Is this true?”
Colin answers that while his alcoholism may have been used against him in the past, if the father is clean and sober he needs to take control of the situation and file a petition to take control away from his ex-wife. She cannot use his past as a bargaining chip to violate his custodial rights. Colin elaborates in the clip below:
This we hear a lot because there is a lot of manipulation and coercion that goes on in child custody disputes. It is especially prevalent against guys who are often very nervous because they feel that the deck is stacked against them. Or, they feel that if they go into court they are going to lose their rights. However, this is not the way that it works.
This is perfect example of where you just need to use a little logic. She has been giving you the child every other weekend and she has been doing this for the last two years. Now, all of the sudden, because you go to court, you are a danger around the child. The argument doesn’t make sense and the court is not going to listen to it.
Family Court is there to support both a father’s right and a mother’s right to have a relationship with the child. People will make mistakes. It is not just about making the mistake. What you do thereafter is important to the court. He has been clean for two years and he is going to be fine.
He needs to file a petition to take that control away from her. It will help him create an objective good parenting relationship with his child and keep her from continuing to jerk him around.
My wife wants to use my past as an alcoholic against me. I am clean now. Can she do this? 0:36
We have been separated for 5 years and I don’t know where my wife lives. Can I get divorced or do I need to track her down? 1:54
My wife left me for another woman. Can I get custody? 2:55
We have been married for 14 years, but don’t have kids. Do I need to pay alimony? 2:36
How do you determine value of a stock option plan? Does my wife get it? 4:40