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Need serious advice.

(14 Posts)
stayforthekids1 Thu 08-Sep-11 08:16:05

Posted this in lone parents, but I dont think its as busy as here.

I have just come in from work to find my STBX either very drunk, or very stoned. He was responsible for looking after our 4 dc tonight. I am furious. My house stinks of the stuff. He was slurring his words and even talking to himself at one point.

I need to know what to do. I want him to see the kids, but I cant allow it with him in that state. He normally takes them at weekends out to his, but now I know the states he is getting himself into, I cant have that. I presume I need to think legal? I dont want to most importantly risk anything happen to my children and secondly, I dont want to risk losing them myself because of what he is doing.

Before anyone suggests I try talking to him, he has been addicted since he was a teen. He drank every night of our 7 year marriage. Every single night. As far as I am concerned he is beyond help. He IS a great dad but there is no way in hell I will leave my children in the care of someone drunk/stoned regardless of their status.

What do I do?

I also want to divorce him. Grounds: unreasonable behaviour. His drinking, his smoking, his violence with a drink in him. I am sure he will contest it all the way. I dont have much money, but I cant tell you how much I detest still being married to him even though we are separated.

Can anyone advise me please?

stayforthekids1 Thu 08-Sep-11 08:16:46

Well I told him this morning we would need to talk about him having the kids. He asked what about and I said he should know very well what about...the using drygs and being drunk when around them, whether they are in bed or not. His response was....Fuck off. He looked at me with that look of his, like I am totally bang out of order and I lost my temper then, said I had put up with him smoking and drinking throughout our marriage because of my fear of him and that I wouldnt stand for it any longer, that I would be going to see a solicitor. He stormed out calling me a bitch.

Problem is, I am a single mother with 4 dc, I dont have a lot of money. I dont think I could afford a solicitor.

stayforthekids1 Thu 08-Sep-11 08:19:42

I should add that when he was with me, he did drink every night and got stoned most nights. However not to the level he is now. I wasnt happy about it, but after violent rows, became too scared to challenge him. I was also at home all the time, so at least I knew I was there to take care of them no matter the shape of him.

LB1982 Thu 08-Sep-11 08:52:34

What a terrible situation OP. Are you entitled to legal aid? That would solve all of your problems really and you could get the ball rolling immediately and sort a contact order where he doesn't have them for overnight stays?

JosephineB Thu 08-Sep-11 09:02:29

Oh what a terrible situation. sad

You could try calling Rights of Women where you can at least get some free legal advice - their website has loads of useful information on it as well.

stayforthekids1 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:06:52

I have no idea, I get working tax credits and think i will get some housing benefit (waiting to hear) but I also work 16 hours a week earning about £160 a fortnight. Will look into it and see, thank you. I need to get this sorted asap. I have a friend that is looking for a room, I am very tempted to have her come to live with me (obviously would inform HB etc) and she would be able to do child care for the two nights I work. This would then remove any need for him to have them overnight. It would buy me a bit of time whilst I work out how to get the ball rolling in terms of making sure my kids are safe.

ShoutyHamster Thu 08-Sep-11 09:14:32

Go and see a solicitor for a free half hour. I would phone Women's Aid first and see if they can point you to someone who will run through the options for free - they should be able to, and will also be able to give you good free advice themselves!

Is divorce an absolute priority? As in, you need to be away from him and separated and you and the children protected from him... but there are other, non-costly ways to achieve that. You could maybe focus on that, and divorce itself could come later? - either through unreasonable behaviour or just after several years' separation.

The first thing is housing. You say you're separated but you're still in the same house - why? Do you own or rent? Is he refusing to move?

If you are renting, if I were you I would simply move - is that possible? Are you financially able to do that? If not, if money is a problem and/or you are HA, ask Womens' Aid/solicitor how you get him out. You should be able to - he is an abusive drunk whose habits are a danger to the children. You could apply for him to be taken off the tenancy, and the police could remove him.

If you own your house, it is more complicated... but again, think of the goal - to not have him around, causing things to be harder. Again, take advice - I think here you would have to divorce or be divorcing to force a house sale, but there are other ways... if you have little or no equity, the house isn't necessarily any more an asset than a rented property, and you could tell him that you either split and sell the house, or you'll move out anyway and leave him to it.

With regard to housing, the important thing is for you to start thinking solo - I bet that although you're separated, he's there and you're washing his socks and cooking, right? Stop all that - you and the kids are a unit, he has shown that he isn't and doesn't want to be part of it - he'd rather drink and take drugs. Don't think 'but where would he go?' Not your problem. And don't be paralysed by thinking 'Well if I don't make sure he's got somewhere to live etc., I'm never going to see maintenance off him...' - fact is, a bloke like this is unlikely ever to step up to his responsibilities, so think solo - get him out, get away from him, and expect nothing in the future.

If you can get away from him and live elsewhere with the kids, you are 99% there.

Other stuff. I would stop protecting him in any way. Report his drug use to the police. Talk to Womens' Aid/solicitor about contact - fact is, if you split and he decides to make your life difficult, he would probably do this through the children. Make sure you report his drug use as you need PROOF and a paper trail that he is a substance abuser, in order to make sure that contact is monitored and that you don't end up with him having them overnight. You should, once you are living separately, be able to get a residence order ( a legal doc saying the kids live with you, so if he decides to play silly buggers and not return them, the police will simply go and get them) and a contact order which sets out terms, and which you have asked for based on evidence of his alcoholism and substance abuse.

The result: you live in a house with the kids, without him, and his contact is controlled. And to do this, you don't have to divorce, you don't have to have even an argument with him, and there's nothing FOR him to 'fight all the way' against.

And if he starts harassing you once you are away - you get a restraining order.

So - start the ball rolling now. Go to WA and talk to them, about last night, and the danger the kids were in, and get advice on how to proceed. And get tough - he's no longer your concern, don't listen to threats or blackmail or tears - focus on getting OUT and AWAY from him.

Divorce can come later.

Good luck!

ShoutyHamster Thu 08-Sep-11 09:19:19

Sounds like you're renting... Why not talk to your friend, and both of you get a private rent?

You don't even have to tell him until the day you leave.

It's simply none of his business and out of his control.

Move out.

See a solicitor and talk to the police in advance, report his drug use. Hopefully get legal aid - formal separation, residence order, contact order.

He'll get the court dates in the post... but he'll probably know all about it before then, as the police will have paid him a little visit or two...

stayforthekids1 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:28:13

I am renting. He has his own place but not the transport to take the kids out to his at the moment, though he is trying to get that sorted. I work two nights a week so he comes here to look after them. I will answer more when I have read right through replies, I just wanted to clarify that he does not live with me and hasnt for over a month.

GypsyMoth Thu 08-Sep-11 09:35:59

Transport? With his drink/drug use? He can't drive anywhere.

Don't let him have them til you've had a free half hour with a solicitor. Get the csa involved now
Apply for legal aid, if not you can self represent IF he takes it to court for access. Solicitors letters/instructions to him aren't legally binding. He doesn't have to comply.

GypsyMoth Thu 08-Sep-11 09:38:43

Shouty...... Op can't get contact order or residence etc until her ex takes HER to court. He has to instigate court action. It's not as simple as that

cestlavielife Thu 08-Sep-11 10:32:38

she can instigate - by petition for divorce on grounds of unreasonable behaviour or applying for residence order

but shouldl stop contact now as DC at risk - but op you need evidence/witness or his behaviour - call police if there is a next time.

but really you shoudl not have him in your house getting drunk in charge of dc.

if you worried about hsi reax - then just be ready to call police if he kicks off. eg you say dont come round - he does - you dont open door but if he banging on it and ranitng you call police.
that also gives you evidence

you need his behaviour documented otherwise is your word agaisnt his

stayforthekids1 Thu 08-Sep-11 11:07:51

cest, I will not be having him in my house drunk in charge of my DC. This is the first time I have found him in that state. Whilst i knew he drank and smoked, I actually gave him the benefit of the doubt when he said he wouldnt...i warned him if I found that he was, it would end up in court action. There wont be a next time because it wont happen again.

I have already been in conversation with him. Told him he is not having them over night. He did the whole guilt trip thing, I am a good father, have you no compassion, why are you being so mean. But I stuck to my guns and told him i would now be looking into court action regardless of what he says or does. He then told me he wouldnt smoke/drink when responsible for the children but I told him I just couldnt trust him as he had already said that previous and I have no choice.

I have made an appointment at CAB and arranged other childcare for the nights I am working. Thanks for the advice everyone. Feel a bit calmer now I have put things in place to protect my children.

cestlavielife Thu 08-Sep-11 11:26:39

well done . dont relent
are you married?
if so apply for divorce.
if not you can apply for a residence order with soleresidency given the welfare issues - giving him supervised contact til he can prove he not drinking/drugs when dc in his care

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