|My son's father is a bum - beyond a bum, a complete waste of space. However, the State of Texas says I have to let my son spend every-other weekend with him. I haven't LOVED it but I didn't fear for his safety - dad is shacked up with a fairly nice (if not very bright) lady who adores my boy, and she has 3 kids of her own, and knows "mom-stuff".
Implies you willingly sent your son for weekends before (or at least thought he was safe when the court required you to do so). Which means that all of this:
Originally Posted by TnMsMama
My post was long enough, and I didn't include a lot of things, including 5 years of no child support, his father knocking me around, abandoning "our" son for a year, and calling her kids "our kids" and "our" son "your son" in emails and phone calls...
The people they are currently staying with do not have children and are not the types to "give up the weed for the weekend." I can guarantee you they will smoke weed in the house with my son there. So will his father, since he does every weekend.
Will just make you look vindictive to the courts. You might not like what I'm going to say, and I feel for you because I have been in a similar situation, but please take it for what it is.
The problem is that the courts see people come in all the time when there is a change of situation and try to claim that it changes everything, when in reality much of the stuff they claim is "unacceptable" is actually stuff they already knew about, and tolerated without feeling their child was in danger, sometimes for years. They see it ALL THE TIME, and while I'm not saying that is actually what's going on here, you are going to have to PROVE to a court that these people are such problems that being in that house is a danger. And unless they have a public record of drug offences there isn't going to be cause for the courts to order drug testing on everybody in your son's household (even then there might not be cause, though you would be in a better position). Your word that they smoke pot won't do it, and mentioning that you KNOW they'll smoke with your husband since you already know he smokes every weekend won't make your case look very strong since you've been letting your son sleep at his house up until now. This is not an attack on you, this is just the unfortunate reality of requesting an emergency injunction...you will have to prove it is an emergency because people walk in every day and make stuff up. The judge you see is going to have heard your story a million times, whether it is true in your case or not he can only determine from actual evidence.
Being on welfare and foodstamps (even by choice, even for YEARS) will be a non issue to the courts when it comes to weekend visitations, and bringing it up might backfire on you in the same way that the thing about the pot might (it will make you look like you are grasping at straws). The part about being "homeless" is only going to be strong enough to sway a judge if you can prove the drug charges since your ex is NOT living on the street. His living situation is the only thing that has actually changed, as you tolerated every other thing you mentioned here before now (even the abuse, even the crap e-mails and even the year long disappearance since your son has been there on weekends since those things occurred) and allowed visitation. I understand why the anger about those things has built up and added itself to what is currently happening, but if they were not strong enough to interrupt visitation before, they will not contribute to it now in the eyes of a family court judge.
Trying to get any kind of emergency order with just the things you’ve already mentioned risks backfiring in many ways. It probably won't work, and if something scarier happens in the future, this case will be on record and your ex could possibly make a case that you are always filing frivolous things and trying to "get him". Sort of like crying wolf (and this also happens quite a bit in family court, so if you have a history of emergency orders that were lifted due to lack of evidence it WILL look really bad during future court proceedings). It could also make whatever parenting relationship you have get more tense, which isn’t good for you or your son, and might make it harder for you to get any details at all about what goes on during the weekends, which isn’t something you want if you really trust your ex as little as it seems you do.
Anyway, please don’t take any of this the wrong way, because I understand exactly how upsetting things get during custody issues when you feel your ex is a bad influence AND isn’t being the father he should be. But this will go no where in court unless you can differentiate yourself from the thousands of other parents who walk in with stories about their “loser ex” by bringing actual evidence that your child is in danger. You may not feel your ex’s choices are responsible, but he is your son’s father and unless there is provable abuse or neglect going on you aren’t going to get a court to help you second guess him since you already have primary custody. I found in my own situation that coming to terms with this improved my situation a lot since I can’t change others, but I can change my reaction to them. I was dealing with TWO irresponsible parents (I have custody of my nephew) who share many of your husbands issues, and in some ways were actually worse (his father is a convicted felon amongst other things) but once I put effort into making things less tense and accusatory, they were open to my concerns when I had them, and would actually give in to things that I would never have gotten in a court order. It's still a rollercoaster, but a less stressful one for my entire family.