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Need advice...divorce, custody, spousal support, the whole chabang


Forum: Divorce and Separation

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  #1  
October 19th, 2009, 04:18 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 367
I have 3 kids and I need a divorce ASAP.

My husband has a substance abuse problem. We are currently living separately and our house is vacant and ready to go to foreclosure.

I have a very solid job and can support myself and the kids very comfortably on my own. My concern is that he is unemployed and I do not want to have to pay spousal support. I also want him to only have supervised visits due to his problems with substance abuse. I'd rather not have to deal with him at all, but I'm not sure I can get that. I will go ballistic if there is anyone who allows this man to have my kids alone.

What are the chances I will have to pay child support since his only income is unemployment? Would child support (that he should have to pay since I will have full custody) balance out what might end up being spousal support?
I do not want to have to pay him a penny!!

I'm nervous to file because I'm afraid of having to pay him anything.
I feel that he is not even looking for a job because he is almost expecting me to have to pay him support.

Any advice you have is much appreciated.
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  #2  
October 19th, 2009, 11:03 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: none
Posts: 1,133
My first husband had a meth problem but he got caught so I had proof. He chose the drug court option and is now a great dad and we get along great....

Does dh have a criminal record or any proven history with his drug problem?
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  #3  
October 20th, 2009, 02:13 AM
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When you say he has a substance abuse problem, do you mean he is addicted or just that he uses recreationally and will not stop? If he is addicted, I think you might be able to get full custody with no visitation or perhaps only supervised visitation if it is documented well enough. Ask your lawyer--and YOU DO NEED A LAWYER! Don't try to do this without one! I can't see you being ordered to pay spousal support--although the courts have surprised me on other issues so I won't tell you it can't happen--but even if you were, yes, the child support would more than take care of it. Is there anything to support your allegations of substance abuse? Has he been arrested or gone into rehab? No one is going to just take your word for it simply because there are people out there who make things up when going through a divorce in order to keep from paying child support or to try to get full custody or to deny visitation. You need something to back up your claims. Again, talk to your lawyer. The thing to remember-and this is what the courts have to keep in mind as well-is that he has equal rights to the children no matter what you want. They are HIS KIDS TOO! It doesn't matter that he is an addict or refuses to get a job, he is still their father and has the right to have access to the children. Now, that being said, the court will take into consideration any and all circumstances which might put them in jeopardy. In other words if it can be proven that he is an addict, does drugs around the children thus exposing them to that life, leaves them to go buy drugs, drives with them in the car while under the influence, etc then they will most likely limit his time with them and perhaps order his visits to be supervised. Otherwise, you are going to have to abide by court ordered visitations if that is what HE wants. (He can choose not to have the children for his scheduled time but YOU cannot!) Now, if when you go to drop the kids off you see that he is under the influence, you could refuse to allow him to have them and call the police so that they see he is high. You will need to be able to prove you're not just being vindictive by not allowing him to see the children then--that's why you will need the police involvement or your lawyer or someone who the courts would consider impartial enough to be above reproach. If that sort of thing happens often enough, you may be able to keep him from seeing the children but you have to step back and ask yourself how this is going to affect the children--are you doing this because you hate him so or because you are in fear for your children's safety? The hardest thing you're going to have to do is to accept that you have to share your children with this man for the rest of your life. None of us like that idea but we accept it anyway because we have no choice. Unfortunately HE is the ONLY one who can decide that he doesn't want to have any contact with them until they are older and can decide that for themselves and even the courts will not sever his parental rights over this. The MOST that they will do is to order his visits be supervised by someone from social services at a designated place. As long as he is LEGALLY the children's parent, he will be responsible for child support payments. If he doesn't pay, you have the option of going after him through the courts to have it garnished and paid to you through the state.
I'm sorry you're going through this. It's difficult, I know but you're better off getting it done so get a good lawyer and file. It's a shame you are losing your house--is there any way for you to save it? I take it you have been supporting the family without help from him for a while now. I strongly recommend that if there is any way for you to save the house--refinance or get caught up in the payments-- do so! Things will turn around eventually and home prices will go back up. If you can keep it, it would be so good for you and the kids. Talk to your lawyer about that as well. If nothing else, it would help your credit if you can save it. Saving a house from forclosure looks better on your credit report than a full out forclosure does! If it can't be saved, then just walk away from it. God knows you are not the only one! You can and will recover from this--it will just take time.
I hope that helps. We're here as you go through all that is facing you so whenever you need to vent or ask questions or whatever I hope you will feel free to do so!
HUGS!
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  #4  
October 20th, 2009, 09:34 AM
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He is an addict. He abuses prescription meds (pain killers and anxiety meds).
I have records of hospital visits (due to him having withdrawals so bad), a police report from calling 911 when he took too much (ambulance took him to the hospital), and also rehab records. He has failed at every chance I gave him to change.

There is no way I can keep the house. I cannot afford it on my own due to the amount of debt that my husband has accumulated. I would rather let the house go than have to file bankruptcy. I am hoping a short sale gets approved. I am renting a house which is 1/3 the cost of the other, so I'm very comfortable renting.

He has only seen the kids maybe 5 times since I left in July. I am going to start documenting everything.

Thank you for your advice. I never thought I would be in a situation like this.
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  #5  
October 20th, 2009, 10:00 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Posts: 1,133
Good luck! Sending tons of HUGS your way!
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  #6  
October 21st, 2009, 06:40 AM
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Location: Florida
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Best of luck to you. Let us know how things go.
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  #7  
October 22nd, 2009, 06:40 AM
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Wow. Good luck!
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  #8  
October 23rd, 2009, 01:08 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: none
Posts: 1,133
No one ever *thinks* they will end up in a situation like such as this, or we certainly wouldn't have married! But we made the choice to marry....it's amazing how one person has the ability to ultimately change your life forever, isn't it?

I am not and never will be brave enough to be vulnerable or trust another person in a marriage relationship ever again. I'm a loser magnet, apparently.
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