do I have to give custody?

(11 Posts)
riverreggie Thu 03-Nov-16 10:42:54

Is it possible to refuse custody to an ex on the basis of their drinking?

I am not separated yet but it is on the cards and my DP drinks very heavily. I don't want my DC staying there. I have been keeping a record of the drinking, for about 4 months and it is 4-6 nights per week, between 15 and 25 units per night. The drinking has even occurred on nights when we agreed they would do the caretaking of DC and I have ended up doing it instead.

Day visits are awkward because if we split I'd move back to my family, 300 miles away, so having non-overnight contact would be difficult. DC is only 2 so it's not like they can look after themselves when DP is drunk/hungover - not that that would make it okay.

Fourormore Thu 03-Nov-16 11:39:50

If there's no court order you can essentially do what you like.

If your partner took you to court, you would need to prove that the children would be at significant risk in his care.
You also might want to take legal advice about moving the child so far away. You may end up having to agree to overnights and facilitating all of the travel (and paying for it).

riverreggie Thu 03-Nov-16 12:34:01

It was my DP's suggestion to move back if we split. I have no family here, few friends and no job. I have written evidence of that and I doubt my partner would stop me.

Fourormore Thu 03-Nov-16 12:43:30

What is his suggestion for him to see your child?

riverreggie Thu 03-Nov-16 13:19:25

We didn't talk about it because before we could discuss it any further, we made up. But things aren't going well and I want to know what will be expected if we do split.

I don't want my child consigned to a childhood of trekking across the country once or twice a month, interrupting their new life, for someone who likely isn't going to provide a nice environment for them to visit in.

Fourormore Thu 03-Nov-16 13:28:05

It will come down to the risk associated with your partners drinking.

If he cleans up his act then yes, your child will likely spend once or twice a month traipsing across the country, possibly a majority of school holidays to make up for the fact that the child can't see his father on a regular basis.

As you don't want that, what do you think would be the best thing for your child?

riverreggie Thu 03-Nov-16 13:45:05

In that case I will stay in an unhappy marriage until a later date.

Fourormore Thu 03-Nov-16 15:38:14

I'm sorry, I understand that isn't what you wanted to hear. I'm not sure staying will make the situation any better though, particularly if you stay and the child is enrolled in school then you would need to get your DPs permission to move the child across the country.

The problem you have isn't insurmountable but it's worth getting some legal advice to see what the likely outcomes would be.

Guiltypleasures001 Fri 04-Nov-16 11:23:12

If he has suggested you move back home, you can assume he realises that his contact would be limited. It also wouldn't be a huge jump to think maybe he isn't that bothered about that, maybe take him at his word and move ASAP.

If he drinks that much daily, I suppose you could expect it to escalate when you leave, it sounds like you also wouldn't be getting much in the way maintenance if he drinks all the money.

But what price being back amongs your own family op flowers

riverreggie Fri 04-Nov-16 13:12:50

Guilty, that's a point, it probably will escalate if I leave. I doubt it will get better, as it's been an ongoing problem for years.

Fourormore, thanks for the advice re school. Will that apply to nursery or just formal education?

I'm not bothered about maintenance. I have done my research and know how much income I'd have. I'd actually be better off than now, taking into account income and expenses.

HeddaGarbled Mon 07-Nov-16 00:14:42

Honestly? I think you split up but don't move 300 miles away. Then he can see your child through a custody centre or in the daytime if you trust him in the daytime. I know this isn't ideal for you, but there are things that you can do to make a life where you are. Staying in an unhappy marriage or moving back to your family are not the only two options.

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