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Divorcing an alchoholic and relocating? Legal matter concerns me.


SaraJane
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Ok, so I had given my husband a last and final chance to step up and make a change so that our marriage could possibly be saved... my family, my friends all want to see me gone at this point, so let me give some background information and see if anyone can offer any suggestions, imput, or advice... Im hoping mostly for someone who may have had a similar experience, or know someone who has so I know what I might be enduring once I start this process.

 

I met my husband over 5 years ago online, we were friends for quite some time and 3 years ago I ended up relocating from Michigan to the Gulf Coast (1200 Miles) to be with him. In the process I lost custody of my 8 year old because I thought there was no chance in hell that my ex husband could have possibly been granted custody, but he did. Neither of us were 'more fit' than the other so the judge would not give me permission to keep him in Alabama with us. I get my son for the summer and for several breaks during the school year, but its not enough, being that far from him has been hell for me and something that has caused much more pain than it was worth for both of us.

 

My husband and I have a child (15 months old now), and my oldest son is also with us (11 now). My 11 year old's father is not a part of his life, and my current husband is really the only 'dad' he's ever had.

 

We have no friends and no family here (we are in Mississippi currently), my husband has a sister here and her spouses family, and that's the extent of it. My husband works offshore and is gone for 2-4 weeks at a time, and never home for more than 12 days at a time, sometimes as little as 2-3 days at a time.

 

My husband is an alchoholic, "always has been" and feels he's doing nothing wrong and WILL NOT change. Though he can go weeks at work without drinking, he cannot do it at home. He has 3 DUI's, and continues to drink and drive. He is not violent, he doesnt get drunk to the point where he passes out (anymore) or gets sick, but he begins his drinking binge on his way home from work, and continues to drink constantly when he is home. If I confront him, or even ask him to go a day or two without he gets angry, but instead of a confrontation he just goes around with this "if Im going to suffer, so are you" type of attitude. Its as if he cant be happy unless he's intoxicated.

 

When he's at work him and I get along great, its almost as if the only time our relationship is 'good' is when he's not here and sober under someone elses command.

 

But, I cant live like this anymore... I am miserable, I feel incompetant, and I feel like someone's destroyed me... because even though I know he cares and he's faithful I know that my children and I cannot compete with his alchohol addiction. I dont want to wait for him to end up in prison to have a way out.

 

My family doesnt want me here either, they know how miserable I am when I go home to visit and know that it just kills me to have to come back here.

 

The only counterpoint is that for the first time in my life we are financially stable, we've got plenty of money, live in a nice house, I can take the kids on vacations, buy anything and everything we want... but it does not make up for the fact that I've given up so much for this man and he will not even attempt to resolve this matter. Im willing to give all that up to try to find some happiness in my life, because the money and the 'things' do not make up for what isnt right here.

 

My mother wants me to go to a woman's shelter back home with my children, and explain to them the sitation and try to get help. I'd prefer to hire a lawyer and divorce him and wait until the courts grant me permission to move home to be with my other child, family, and friends... my problem is, considering the surprise of the custody issue when I moved down here, Im scared that Im either going to be stuck in Mississippi once the divorce is final, or forced to leave my son behind.

 

We live in a very small town, the closest 'city' is about a half hour away... there's no jobs no daycare here that are worth the time (I cant find a job that would pay enough to cover daycare, unless I drive an hour each way every day), there are no other children for my son to play with, the school just sucks here, and I am tired of feeling trapped, isolated, and so damn shut out from everything.

 

I made my husband my life for the past 3 years, but I no longer have hope for a life here... my 11 year old is miserable, Im miserable and its not healthy for us to continue living like this. Im struggling with depression and the more my husband refuses to admit that he has a problem or try to resolve it, the harder it gets.

 

I had posted before in regards to another man, an emotional relationship to someone I had depended on to help me cope with the time between, but I have resolved that issue and have decided that I need to take action, and get my life on track before I get involved with anyone... for me and my kids.

 

But... my problem is this... I am so terrified that if I file for a divorce that it will blow up in my face and I'll end up being stuck in a worse situation... forced to stay or give up my son. I dont know how the laws are here as compared to Michigan when it comes to custody issues, or even divorce for that matter.

 

So my question is... is the fact that he's an alchoholic (but not a violent drunk) going to be enough to give me the power to go home and make things right for my kids and I, or is it going to take more than that?

 

Do I need to take precautionary measures to save my * * *, or do I need to just have faith that it will work out in our favor?

 

I've asked him if separating would possibly sway his idea, and give him motivation to stop drinking, and he says that he will not quit, he will not get help and he does not feel that he's hurting anything. He thinks that just because he's not beating us he's not endangering anyone's lives, but I cannot agree with this.

 

I've never known an alchoholic, or anyone in a similar situation, neither has anyone in my family.

 

If anyone has any input, sites I can visit, experience they can share... I would really appreciate it.

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To divorce him, you will need to file in the state where you live. If you take the children and leave, he can file a petition for the immediate return of the children and it will very likely be granted. You've said he's not violent so you cannot deny him the children. Yes the alcoholism will be a factor in custody but you can't simply take the children out of state without a really good reason.

 

With that said, you absolutely must consult an attorney in your state. Only they will have the necessary experience and knowledge to really advise you on what course of action to take. There are so many ways this can go and you need to go through your particular situation with them and get a strategy together.

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To divorce him, you will need to file in the state where you live. If you take the children and leave, he can file a petition for the immediate return of the children and it will very likely be granted. You've said he's not violent so you cannot deny him the children. Yes the alcoholism will be a factor in custody but you can't simply take the children out of state without a really good reason.

 

That's how I felt... I dont want to deny him the children, that's not what Im trying to accomplish. I just feel that we need to move on with our lives and let him be a child on his own.

 

But is the fact that all my family (my mother, brothers, my 8 year old) and the rest of everything we've ever known is in Michigan a 'really good reason' that the courts will grant me the ability to take him... that's what I guess concerns me.

 

I dont plan to keep him from him, yes Im worried about the drinking and driving on visits, but I wouldnt keep them from eachother... I am not that type of person that I would want to under any condition.

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I'm sorry to hear what you're going through. I was in somewhat the same situation, but as a child.

 

My father is an alcoholic. It wasn't very bad at first, but it just got worse and worse. I saw my mother slip into depression and stay in bed all day. I knew she was staying in a loveless marraige for me. She didn't have the same stipulations as you do, but she gave my father the ultimatum...get help or leave. He left. She was worried about custody battles, but he drown himself in liquor so he basically disappeared. Hopefully your husband is not like that, but from a child's point of view, I was happy she fought. I hated seeing my mother and father fight. I knew back then what he was doing and saw how he changed when he drank. You're doing the right thing.

 

I hope everything works out for you. Good luck..

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Thank you, Born... that really helps me a lot.

 

I am meeting with an attorney in the morning, I've told my husband Im filing for a divorce, and all of a sudden he's claiming he'll stop, and even get help if necessary... yet the condescending, manupulative, and demeaning attitude makes me believe that he's not ready to change, just desperate at this point.

 

Im undecided on whether or not to give him one more chance, I dont know if it would be worth it... I've grown so cold to him and resent the fact that its taking me to actually meet with a lawyer to get potentially empty promises yet again. He's 'quit' probably a dozen times since we've been married, never for more than a few days... and then it starts with the "just a few a day" and then back to the case a day until I blow up again.

 

Either way, I can meet with the attorney, explain what's going on, see how they can help and what options I have for now, and go from there. Maybe a separation would be ideal... I've tried for too long attempt to help him, I dont think I have the strength to do it now, especially when I cant believe that there will be a change.

 

I love him, but I hate him for what he is... Im not sure how to deal with that.

 

I just think its time to move on now, and for his sake I hope either way he does what's right... even if the children and I do move, for his sake he needs to make a change.

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Well, good news!!!

 

My husband called me late last evening and had somewhat of a change of heart it seems. He stated that he's very concerned about our son not knowing he is his father and loves him, I assured him that I will not allow for that to happen and he will always know. I know that he trusts me on this issue, there's no way I would deny him or his family a fair amount of visitations based on what we can work out.

 

The only problem with this is his work schedule and the visitation guidelines will not work together, so it will be up to the two of us to use that as a structure but work together to make sure that they will have plenty of opportunities.

 

He stated that he doesnt want us to leave, but he's understanding now that he had the opportunity to change and it was unfair of him to ask me to stay for so long when he wasnt willing to, and that I deserve to be happy. Now he's finally willing to let me have my life, my happiness, and my sanity back. Even if it means being apart from his son he knows that it is better for him to have a happy mother than be in our home in the midst of an unhealthy, unhappy, and emotionally unstable relationship.

 

It seems that throughout the rest of our conversation we covered all bases that needed to be covered, from property settlement, to transportation for visitations, etc. And at this time it appears that he will not contest the divorce so long as the children and I are happy and he is allowed to be a part of his son's life.

 

The meeting with the attorney wasnt as pleasant as my conversation with my husband, but that's sort of irrelevant. If he's not contesting the divorce it wont matter who my attorney is or how repulsive, discusting, and unprofessional he is as long as he allows us to set the judgement out in the way that we will be able to agree on it and gets the job done.

 

I am very happy at this point, Im very much looking forward to being with my family again, especially my 8 year old, and having the opportunity to be myself again and wake up in the morning and not hate everything about my life and where I am.

 

My 11 year old will be delighted that he can go back to his old school, be with both of his brothers, his grandmother, uncles, and have the opportunity to make some friends!!

 

I know that it will hurt him to lose the 'dad' that my husband has been for the last 3 years, but I also know that he will be suffering a lot less, and Im certain that though I cannot provide him with a 'daddy' he will have all the love he needs from all the people there who love him so very much.

 

As far as my husband's alchoholism, he's claiming that he knows he needs to stop, and he has every intent to do so (at this time)... even though doing it now isnt going to keep us here.

 

I truly hope for his sake he does find the strength to stop so that he can find peace in his heart and allow for a new opportunity in his life to bring in the light that I could not.

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I'm glad the talk with your husband went well. That will make things a lot easier on you and especially on your children.

 

If he's not contesting the divorce it wont matter who my attorney is or how repulsive, discusting, and unprofessional he is as long as he allows us to set the judgement out in the way that we will be able to agree on it and gets the job done.

 

This concerns me though. If you find your attorney a sleazebag then I'd try to find someone else who you can work with. You are going to be putting things in place that have to stand up for years and years. You need to be able to trust your attorney to do the right thing.

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I trust him to do his job... but his office was the most discusting thing I have ever seen, and I cannot even begin to explain how unsettling it was to be in this man's place of work and see how unclean and filthy it was.

 

People in this town are so much different than what Im used to, Im not completely ignorant when it comes to certain things and I'll have no problem calling him on something if its not done correctly, so Im not too concerned with that... I just plan to spend as little time as possible in his office.

 

I'd love to find someone else if there was someone I could afford that isnt more than 2 hours away. He's literally the only family law attorney in this town, and he was the last I called, but he was the only one who didnt want $3000 or more up front, or a minimum of $75 for a consultation.

 

In fact, he's priced me at $600 total (if my husband does not contest) and I dont have to give him a penny until we go to the courthouse to file.

 

I cant beat that... so I'll deal with the negatives

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Thanks hun, I appreciate your concern very much.

 

I havent given this guy a penny yet, I have to meet with him again, give him the rest of the information I have for him, see what he has worked up as far as the judgement goes, and go from there.

 

If his work seems less than desirable I may opt to look into an online divorce service. I dont know if it would be something I could do since there's a child involved, and I havent put forth any effort in researching it yet, but im not going to rule that out as an option.

 

Also, if my husband changes his mind or decides to be complicated (even though he seems to be handling this in a way that is going to make this so much easier for us) I will definitely look harder for other options, even if it means a 2-3 hour drive ](*,)

 

 

Just keep in mind that sometimes you "get what you pay for".

 

In life I've learned that to be a very true lesson on most occasions, however there's something about lawyers in Mississippi that really has my doubts mangled. Sure, I've only dealt with a few, but so far I've just had horrible luck

 

Almost 7 years ago when my ex husband kidnapped my son I had flown to Jackson in hopes of finding where he was hiding with him. When we had confirmation of where they were I immediately hired a local lawyer to assist with the legal action needed in order to get immediate custody of my son... found a lawyer who made a lot of promises, wanted a lot of money, and cashed my check and did nothing he claimed he would do.

 

Not to long after he was paid for a service he didnt provide, my attorney in Michigan contacted me and notified me that my husband was willing to return my child to me, so at that point it didnt matter anymore. I took the next flight home and awaited the return of my baby. Contacted the lawyer from Mississippi asking what the deal was, he claimed that the judge who needed to sign the document was not available to complete the process... but still wouldnt return the money.

 

My original attorney had attempted to retrieve the money from the screwball that ripped me off but I saw / heard nothing and just didnt care enough to worry about it... I ended up with what I wanted after all, just lost several thousand dollars in the process for no reason

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