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Forced to divorce due to wife’s addiction


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18 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I think she has to be comfortable with the sort of confrontation that can happen with a drug addict and has to know the signs if your wife looks drunk or high.  

I agree. I feel guilty putting my sister in that position. The problem is that my job doesn’t have regular set hours 9-5, so my schedule is unpredictable and I will know some appointments ahead of time but some are last minute or day of. I’ve considered a traditional daycare but it wouldn’t be flexible. Plus most won’t take a newborn. If I don’t have sole custody, how can they not let mom pick the baby up if she shows up in the middle of the day? I don’t know how that works or if they could be instructed to only release the baby to me, but what would I have to enforce them?

Im learning that there are rarely any great options in this whole mess. It’s just picking the least bad option each time.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Lp86 said:

I agree. I feel guilty putting my sister in that position. The problem is that my job doesn’t have regular set hours 9-5, so my schedule is unpredictable and I will know some appointments ahead of time but some are last minute or day of. I’ve considered a traditional daycare but it wouldn’t be flexible. Plus most won’t take a newborn. If I don’t have sole custody, how can they not let mom pick the baby up if she shows up in the middle of the day? I don’t know how that works or if they could be instructed to only release the baby to me, but what would I have to enforce them?

Im learning that there are rarely any great options in this whole mess. It’s just picking the least bad option each time.

 

 

Well don't stay married to her (if you don't want to) only for the baby's sake. I understand addiction isn't always a choice, in a sense it's an illness, but the person needs to fight that illness and that is on them. The same as if someone had diabetes. They need to watch their diet, take their insulin, take care of themselves because they're sick. They can't just do what they want and let their illness take over because then they could die. The person has to take responsibility and if they don't want to then I think there needs to come a point at which you stop babying them and give up. 

You said that there's not really any proof that your wife has been a drug addict in the past or the last fee years. I don't think that matters because there's plenty of proof of it now and that she's a drug addict now. She's under the treatment of doctors and you attend all her medical appointments with her, so this is all recorded. I think in the case that you need to fight for custody I think you should get at least half but maybe even more. 

It doesn't matter if your wife doesn't like being watched by your sister, by you, babysitter or whoever. If she's got nothing to hide then she shouldn't really have an issue that someone is staying with her. If it interferes with her plans to use heroin, well that's just too bad. 

I think you've been extremely patient with your wife as it is. You said you never used drugs yourself and the fact that you'd put up with her bs and using up all your money is very surprising to me to be honest. Especially considering heroin in my opinion is the most dangerous drug second only to crystal meth. Especially when you inject drugs, you can get blood borne viruses like HCF, hepatitis C, etc. You shouldn't have to worry about this kind of stuff if she got pregnant again for example.

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9 hours ago, Lp86 said:

our state doesn’t consider it child abuse to use drugs while pregnant. What we’ve been told is that a hospital social will come speak with both of us. They will do a risk assessment for the baby’s safety. Depending on what they determine by the assessment, they may or may not contact CPS who will then open a case. 

Exactly. A high risk preganacy is not child abuse. And you don't have to sic CPS on your wife as the social worker will assess things as well as After the baby is born. The pediatrician will be on alert for neglect.

You need to have more faith in the obstetrician, pediatrician, social worker and the system, instead of panicking and trying to force an outcome over which you have less control than you are imagining.

Remember. Once the child is born, it has rights that supersede yours or your wife's and the healthcare system will see to that. They have also seen this thousands of times where this is your first child with this wife and you are quite emotionally involved, which seems to blur your judgement.

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This past Monday my wife has an assessment meeting at a local rehab facility, to determine if she is a good fit for their outpatient programs. I went along with her. If all goes well and she doesn’t back out, she’ll begin the program in August.

She’ll attend 5 hours a day M-F for about a month. If she successfully completes that, she can step down to the next level which will be 3 hours a day M-F, right up until very close to when the baby is due. 
 

They offer counseling for family members as well as counseling for us together. One criteria for participation in the outpatient program is strong support at home, somebody who will be involved with supporting her. I am 100% on board and will do whatever they tell me to do. 
 

I’m happy about it but just trying not to get my hopes up too high just yet. I think she wants to put in a genuine effort and that it isn’t all for show, but we’ll see.

She’s also offered to start helping with some of my work related tasks (she used to work in the same career field and has the specialized knowledge required for some of the paperwork, etc.) to keep herself busy. I think it will be good for her to do something productive. She used to love her job and she was so good at it, which is how we met in the first place. So I’m hoping that it will be good for her mindset.

She’s also finally willing to go do things outside of the house like we used to. Baby steps, but to just be able to go out to dinner like normal people after so long has been really nice.

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50 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

I hope she (and you and your family) is one of the success stories.

Thanks. She’s been to inpatient rehab 2.5 times and outpatient 3 times, so I know not to get my hopes too high but it’s still a big improvement from 1-2 months ago so I’m just trying to focus on that. Bought 1 small thing for baby today. Finally broke the ice on buying baby supplies and it made her very happy. 

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Keep posting it will help.

Who is looking after you?

 There is no reason to try and plan on anything at this  point but it is a good idea to educate yourself on all your options, laws in your state and what you can expect from social services, police and the courts if it comes to that.

 Lost

PS. Do not assume all healthcare facilities and social service personnel are competent. I have spent enough time around both to know you have to be you and your babies own advocate and that starts with knowledge.

 

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1 hour ago, lostandhurt said:

Keep posting it will help.

Who is looking after you?

 There is no reason to try and plan on anything at this  point but it is a good idea to educate yourself on all your options, laws in your state and what you can expect from social services, police and the courts if it comes to that.

 Lost

PS. Do not assume all healthcare facilities and social service personnel are competent. I have spent enough time around both to know you have to be you and your babies own advocate and that starts with knowledge.

 

If nothing else this is a nice place to just let everything out where there’s nobody that actually has any skin in the game. My friends and family mean well but sometimes there are things that are better left unmentioned. 
 

My family is supportive of me, whatever I decide to do. Admittedly my mom cried for days, not happy tears, when I told her about the pregnancy. My family and a few friends were the most vocal of the “you must divorce immediately” group. The thing is they like my wife when she’s clean and sober but she’s burned a few too many bridges with all of them now and of course nobody thinks she can handle a baby. For the most part everyone understands my decision now. They don’t have high hopes for her but they understand that this is what I feel is the safest option for the baby for the time being. 
 

I’m still getting all of my ducks in a row. I don’t want to be caught when *** hits the fan and not know what I’m going to do. I was supposed to meet with a different attorney last week but my appointment was postponed. 

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8 hours ago, Lp86 said:

They offer counseling for family members as well as counseling for us together. 

This is the most important thing. You need support because you have a very rough road ahead bringing  a baby born opiate-dependant into the world. 

Not sure what yet another attorney consultation would provide you. To what end? Divorce? You seem to think it's a custody battle. 

You also seem to think you're the only one with rights. Hopefully you and your wife have excellent medical insurance. You'll need it for all the costs with a high risk pregnancy.

I disagree that healthcare providers, hospitals and social workers are incompetent and having a drug addicted baby and high risk pregnancy is a DIY situation. 

Besides that there are laws that protect a child as soon as it is born. 

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The attorney I spoke with before (the only one I’ve officially consulted with) seemed to jump straight into court battles and litigation, although he also wanted to practically promise me that we would win (custody, that is) eventually. I started to get a not so great feeling about him. I think he was just seeing the dollar signs on his end of this turned into some drawn out thing.

I generally like to follow the rule of getting estimated from 3 different companies before I contract one for services. So I’ve decided to consult with 3 different attorneys just to gauge their thoughts and what, if anything, I can do on my end to protect myself and the baby.

I don’t think I’m the only one with rights. The baby has the most rights here, as far as I’m concerned. My wife has rights to, especially as far as any court would be concerned at this point, but when push comes to shove I have to put my helpfulness child above her or myself.

I thankfully have good insurance and it’s paying off right now. Will still have medical bills like crazy. Ive established a bank account that my wife can’t get to if she goes off the rails and tries to clear out all of our financials again. Between the high risk specialists she’s seeing now, the medication she’s on, the rehab stay, and the delivery (assuming it’s a relatively standard delivery), I’m going to have to put some extra effort in on the job to be able to afford all of this. I read that babies born addicted to drugs generally rack up a hospital bill about 6 times that of a non-addicted, healthy newborn. Now that’s not even taking into account what else could go wrong. 

Bought one small baby item today as an ice breaker. First baby thing we’ve bought. I should be happy but all I can see are the bills. But we will be ok, I think. Im stressed and can’t help but think of how set we were financially for a time when she was working and on top of her game. We both worked in commission based jobs and we were really making bank together, but she’s squandered most of it. I know I won’t be able to rely on her for any sort of steady income anytime soon so I’m just working extra to try to get ahead of the game right now. 

 

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1 hour ago, Lp86 said:

 promise me that we would win (custody, that is) eventually. 

Who is "we"? You're not divorced so "custody" is not a consideration.

You can talk to all the attorneys you wish, but you're being sidetracked by your friends and families opinions.

It understandable you're anxious and concerned about the high risk pregnancy and your wife's repeated relapses. 

Yes the cost of drug addiction and sadly drug dependant born babies is quite considerable. Not just in dollars.

It's unclear what the obstetrician advises. Or what tests are being done. Once the child is born, stop enabling your wife. 

Google: "NEONATAL ABSTINENCE SYNDROME"

Get some accurate information and support from appropriate sources. Your biggest hurdles will be a baby born dependant on opioids.

It's better than running around to attorneys for things the courts ultimately decide anyway.

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5 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Who is "we"? You're not divorced so "custody" is not a consideration.

You can talk to all the attorneys you wish, but you're being sidetracked by your friends and families opinions.

It understandable you're anxious and concerned about the high risk pregnancy and your wife's repeated relapses. 

Yes the cost of drug addiction and sadly drug dependant born babies is quite considerable. Not just in dollars.

It's unclear what the obstetrician advises. Or what tests are being done. Once the child is born, stop enabling your wife. 

Google: "NEONATAL ABSTINENCE SYNDROME"

Get some accurate information and support from appropriate sources. Your biggest hurdles will be a baby born dependant on opioids.

It's better than running around to attorneys for things the courts ultimately decide anyway.

“We” meaning me (as in my team of myself and whoever was representing me). I had originally consulted with him regarding divorce and custody. 
 

The doctors have counseled us on possible/likely outcomes as far as the baby is concerned. I’ve spent countless hours reading about babies born to drug dependent mothers, NAS, long-term effects of opiates on the baby, etc. I’ve also read about babies who were sent home with their drug addicted mothers and were accidentally smothered to death or thrown in the washer with a dirty pile of clothes because mom was so out of it.

I don’t know exactly what we’ll be facing because so much is uncertain and cannot be know until she’s here. Even then, some things, such as cognitive delays or learning disabilities, might not be detected for years. There aren’t any special tests that can be done now, other than the standard tests available before birth. We had an ultrasound at 20 weeks and physically there are no abnormalities and she’s in a healthy size range. She’ll be more susceptible to addiction later in life. What can I do about that right now? 
 

Babies born to mothers who switched to maintenance drugs during pregnancy tend to experience shorter and less intense withdraw. Some don’t even experience NAS at all. Many are born seemingly perfectly healthy. I’m preparing for that not to be the case for us just to keep expectations realistic. I read information and studies about what is best for babies going through withdraw. My wife is also planning to breastfeed, which is encouraged in these situations as long as mom meets certain criteria which she does for the time being. That can help the baby in multiple ways and ease the withdraw. 

 

 

 

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I own my own daycare and where I am I can not refuse a parent pick up unless there is a sole custody filed and I have a copy of those papers. Without them I have to release the child to either parent. With custody papers I can call the authorities. 

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It sounds like you are doing great educating yourself, it will serve you well for what is to come.

Knowing what questions to ask, when to ask them and when to get second or even third opinions is very important.

 Continue getting legal advice so you are better prepared for what may come and can work situations to you and the babies favor.  Once the baby is born you will have precious little time so use what you have now.

 Having a plan A, plan B and a plan C at least penciled out with some things put in place just in case is smart like the bank account she cannot drain again.

Buying something for the baby makes it real doesn't it?

  The stress of this can be tremendous so stay close to the people that love you.

Lost

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  • 1 month later...

Haven’t posted in a while. I decided to take a break while focusing on my life and relationship with my wife. She successfully completed level 1 of the outpatient rehab program she’s been attending and is starting on level II, or the next step down. She’s still on suboxone and will not begin to be weaned off of that until after the baby is born. We’ve also been attending counseling together which is going really great. Overall, it’s really been helping us, and specifically me, to better understand her addiction and what I can do to support her without completely losing myself and my mind. I’m still living in our home with her, still very much married, just hoping things will continue in this path but still always anxious about what could happen. 

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