Custody Dispute & Divorce Hearing
by John from Tampa, Florida, Hillsborough County
I'm a single father of three kids, 3 year old twins, and a 1 year old. I have won temporary custody and have had them for 4 months now. We are going back for the final heating for divorce and custody.
The mother lost custody because she had a drug problem. She has not helped with the kids at all.
She gets them every other weekend and every Wednesday. She has to be supervised by her mother in order to have them.
I've offered extra days and allowed her to have them unsupervised as long as she was at her mom's house. My question is I have established a regular life and one day after court I had the kids in daycare which I pay myself for the three kids.
I have a three bedroom home for all of us and they are on a schedule and are your average happy children. What chances does she have in regaining custody since it's been only four months and what's going to be the deciding factor?
She is currently clean and has passed all drug tests except for pot. You would think if you wanted your children back that bad, you could quit smoking pot. What kind of scenario am I looking at? She has an attorney and I do not. I've done all this myself.
Answer to Florida Child Custody Question
Good for you for working so hard to make a life for your children.
It will not be easy for you to represent yourself in court when your ex has an attorney representing her.
You might consider hiring an attorney to appear with you, so that you aren't outmaneuvered.
If you think you can go it alone, do so.
Be sure to prepare yourself ahead of time, so that you know what to expect and how to conduct yourself in the courtroom. There are some videos on this site that might help. Honestly, no one knows what a judge might do.
It sounds like your ex is making an effort to have her kids come back and live with her. So your job is to show that she might easily slip back into her old habits.You stated that she had quit using all drugs except for marijuana, so I'm guessing that she was using other (stronger and possibly addictive) drugs in the past.
If she was using something addictive, whether it was pills, like Oxycontin, or other substances, like cocaine or meth, four months clean is not all that impressive. I know you may not want to sling mud at the mother of your children, but you might point out the possibility (or even probability) of relapse.
Also stress her continued use of marijuana, and as you mentioned, if she really wants her kids back, she would have stopped using that also. I suggest that you look up some statistics and studies about addiction, relapse, and bring those with you to the courtroom so that you can impress on the judge, that even though she may be clean right now and for the past four months, she could easily start using again.Notice:
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