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Never married custodial mother is up against alcoholic father who wants more time with baby

Your Question:
I am an unmarried mother of a 7 month old son that I have with an on again off again boyfriend. He has been around as much as he can since my son has been born but his lifestyle and job have interfered. We are off and on due to his drinking and cheating.

The reason we are not together now is that a couple months ago I was rushed to the hospital due to severe abdominal pain which ended up being pelvic inflammatory disease. It turned out that is was caused by an STD that I was unaware that he had given to me while I was pregnant with our son. Now I am going through extensive treatments to save my reproductive organs. He admitted to giving me the STD and was very upset about his poor decision but shows no remorse for endangering my son and myself.

Aside from that, my major concern is his alcohol abuse. He drinks excessively to the point to where he can not function, passes out anywhere as in ditches on the side of the road or his car, and urinates on himself. He very much wants to see his son when ever possible but he will demand to pick him up the morning after he has a night like this and I refuse to let him.

When I did bring him over I have to supply everything from clothing to food. Because he spends all of his money on alcohol he claims he has no money to support our son. Also his place is unsuitable for a child to stay at so I always had to make sure it was clean when I got there. I had to give him furniture and pots and pans because he is too irresponsible to buy them himself.

Now that we are not together I have established child support. He is outraged that he has to pay any money and is now demanding shared parenting. I know he loves his son very much but I am so afraid to leave our son in his care alone. He wants him half the week, overnight and when he is at work he wants to have his sister watch him. I do not want our son in her care either. She is only 20 and has a 3 year old and a 5 month old on top of the fact that she has tried to commit suicide in the past.

He has never gone more than a few days without seeing our son but I can not keep catering to him with this behavior. I fear for my son’s well being in his care and I don’t know what to do.

My question is with his history of DUI's and drinking, would he still be able to get shared parenting or even overnight visits? And is it going to look at bad at court if keep him from seeing without supervision until we have our hearing?

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My Answer:

So.... nice choice for a father, eh?

I start off by saying that, since we ALL choose the people with whom we get naked and have sex. That holds true for everyone except rape victims.

Your situation is... you've got a baby, the father is currently a loser (may always be one), and you want a good answer.

Unfortunately, there ain't no good answer that will create an ideal situation for your baby.

If he's an active drunk, you get evidence of it. If you know he sleeps in the car after passing out at a bar, get your video camera, drive to where he's sleeping, start recording, announce the date and time and location, show the car with license place, and walk up to it to show him sleeping inside (be sure to get enough of a view to see it's clearly him). Do this at least three times.

If he's had multiple DUIs, then get evidence of it.

If his place is inappropriate for a child, document it and/or get evidence.

I think it's reasonable of you to write a letter to him (or from your attorney to his attorney) stating that it's your belief he is an active alcoholic, that he needs to enter rehab, and that he needs to attend AA regularly. Further, he needs to demonstrate he can maintain an appropriate home for a child (i.e., "appropriate" is the operative word, not "ideal"). You also want him to attend a parenting class. Until all of that happens, you insist on being present with him and the child, or alternatively, he may choose to pay a social worker at ABC agency to supervise their time. Finally, if he can do all that you outlined for the next six months, which a court would probably also like to see, you're happy to sit down in six months to discuss a regular parenting schedule.

If he can pull it off for six months, he's showing a real committment to this child.

But if he just jerks you around and avoids getting clean, then you let him take you to court, where you show all your evidence (i.e., do NOT tell him about the evidence until you go to court).


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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