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Contact with drug using father

(9 Posts)
Natmu Mon 04-Feb-13 17:14:36

Thanks for all your help Spero. I will show Dsis the thread so far and discuss with her.

Spero Mon 04-Feb-13 16:37:14

You can be on drugs and be a parent. You just can't be incapacitated on drugs whilst caring for them. Highly unlikely a court would stop contact because he smokes, particularly if he says he doesn't do it around the child. Drugs tests costs thousands, if you are happy to pay for them it is a pretty reliable test but cost prohibitive for most.

By 'sorting out' a situation if someone is abusive and threatens abduction I mean seriously restricting or limiting contact unless and until the abusive person a) goes on a violence perpetrator programme b) hands over his travel documents to a solicitor or puts them in safe keeping c) is subject to a non molestation injunction or similar or d)stops behaving like an arse e) you can find other people to help with contact hand overs and drop offs.

There are many things that you can do, it all depends on the degree of severity of his behaviour and how much/how strong is the proof you have.

This running off with the child and laughing as she chases him is fuckwittery of the highest order, abusive to both mother and child. If this were me I would be saying - contact at a contact centre, 2 hours once a week until you go on a parenting course or make it clear in some other tangible way that you are extremely fucking sorry for being such a douchebag and it won't happen again.

If there is no contact order that she risks breaching I think she needs to set very clear boundaries down now about what is acceptable and if he doesn't like it, he can go to court.

Natmu Mon 04-Feb-13 14:48:23

Sorry, posted too soon. Pesky phone.

Anyway, can't the fact that he has signed the undertaking not to take drugs around DN be seen as an admission that he is using?

Spero when you say;

However, the fact you say he has been abusive, threatening AND is threatening abduction is all very worrying. I would want to be looking at no overnights at least until that was sorted out.

What do you mean by 'sorted out'? She is struggling to get any recognition of his behaviour because it is her word against his. In public he can be very charming and persuasive but in private things were very different. What else could she do about that part of the problem?

Incidentally Dsis believes he wouldn't actually abduct DN and that he is saying it to bully and frighten her. They began by having contact at DM's house and on the second visit he picked up DN and ran out of the garden into the road with him and stood there laughing as my DM chased him.

Natmu Mon 04-Feb-13 14:25:05

Spero thanks for the correction. The problem in all of this is that it's all her word against his. She is of the opinion that he is suffering some kind of mental health problem but is able to present a calm and collected persona when in court. He hasn't physically done anything to her or DN but she was so frightened of the potential threat that she used to sleep in DN's room with him with her back against the door and a knife under her pillow.

Her exP has signed this undertaking not to smoke drugs around DN so c

I think it would be worth asking about. None of us would have thought of it, it was the family court that suggested it in my friend's case.

If it is something that gets agreed then maybe it can be something he is routinely tested for if she still has ongoing concerns.

If the solicitor shrugs it off again, maybe she should ask some other solicitors, I don't thing it's an unreaonable request - for a parent not to be smoking while they're in charge of a child overnight.

I'm not sure what to suggest about the bed, but would bring that up with the solicitor again too, your DN should be able to stay over with reasonable living conditions i.e. his own bed.

Spero Mon 04-Feb-13 13:23:24

It's actually a residence order but for some bizarre reason in the last month all media types have been saying 'residency'.

Anyway. If you have serious concerns he is taking drugs when caring for a child, these concerns should be taken seriously. Drugs tests how ever are very expensive and I am afraid it is fairly common for exes to make allegations which aren't true.

Does he have any previous convictions or cautions for drug use? Coming back smelling of smoke isn't great but agree that is unlikely to put end to contact.

However, the fact you say he has been abusive, threatening AND is threatening abduction is all very worrying. I would want to be looking at no overnights at least until that was sorted out.

If there is no contact order in place, if I were her I would permit shorter periods of contact and say it will increase if and when you stop smoking around him. If she really thinks he is serious about abduction then it should be contact centre only.

Let him then take it to court if he is not happy. But there will shortly be no public funding for these types of cases unless violence is involved.

Natmu Mon 04-Feb-13 13:13:19

Yes she does have a residency order in place thankfully.

The drug testing sounds like a good idea Jammy but I get the impression her solicitor has brushed it aside and said the court would be unlikely to agree to drug testing. Perhaps if she pushes for it her solicitor might take her seriously.

Does she have a residency order (it may well be called something else) in place? I would suggest she gets something formal in place if he's threatened to snatch him.

Also, I know someone who's just gone through a custody (successfully smile ) and part of that is the other partner has been asked to do a drug test (for weed) of her hair as it can contain traces from and smoking in the last six months. Perhaps your DSis can agree, through her solicitor, that there aren't to be any sleepovers till the ex has been 'clean' for six months?

Natmu Mon 04-Feb-13 11:26:53

My Dsis has 2 year old DS. She split up with his Dad earlier this year as his drug habit was a problem (he smokes copious amounts of marajuana) and he was becoming emotionally abusive and threatening towards her.

He has threatened to 'snatch' their DS and take him abroad to the country where his family lives. Dsis now has a non-molestation order in place. They have an informal contact arrangement in place atm whereby ex sees DS every 2 weeks but he wants overnight contact. Their DS stayed with him for a night over Christmas (again no court involvement but purely informal arrangement). Ex has had to sign an undertaking not to smoke drugs when DS is in his care and has also to provide him with his own bed if he stays the night. Dsis said after the overnight stay DS (and all his stuff) came back reeking of smoke and DS told her that he had slept in bed with Daddy.

Advice from her solicitor is 'I understand your concerns but he WILL get contact'. Dsis does not have so much of an issue with daytime contact but is very reluctant to let him stay overnight again.

Apparently nobody has to check up on whether ex is sticking to the undertakings he signed. Is there any way she could fight overnight contact? Does anyone know whether there is some system for checking whether he is actually smoking drugs around their DS (obviously she doesn't want him to smoke at all in DS's presence not just drugs but that's probably a tougher argument). It makes me so angry that she seems to have to relinquish so much decision-making power about what is good/not for her DS.

Does anyone have any experience of this kind of situation? All advice gratefully received.

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