Dad wants visitation, but is he clean?


            Posted on Sep 12,2010  

            Dad wants visitation, but is he clean?

Q. I have two children, 7 and 11.   Four years ago their dad's visitation was suspended because he was heavy into drugs and alcohol.  Since then, I've taken the kids to a psychologist to help them deal with their dad not being in their lives.

I just got his motion asking for visitation, claiming he is now clean.  I checked with his friends and was told he was still using. 

There was no summons.

Do I have to go to court?  And, if yes, what do you think will happen?

S.E., Leicester

A.        I'd bet back then the judge gave the dad the option of taking random drug and alcohol tests, and he either refused or flunked.  I'd also bet you didn't ask for a judgment. That means the case is still open -- so no new complaint or summons is required.

When you go to court, tell the judge you've been taking the children to a therapist and if dad is going to start visitation, you'd want him to pay to meet with that therapist.  Also say you checked with his friends and heard that dad is still a substance abuser.

The judge has seen this kind of situation many times.  The probability is that dad will be asked to go for hair and urine testing immediately.  If he's clean, he'll be ordered to take random tests and do what's needed to slowly get back into the children's lives.  If he's not clean, he'll take a pass. If so, ask that judgment be entered to close your case.