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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I divorced in 2006 because of drug addiction by my husband.

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I divorced in 2006 because of drug addiction by my husband. He saw the children off and on over the years and I was able to do a urine drug test to make sure he was clean before he took the kids. He moved away to Texas for a few years and it really wasn't an issue. He got clean...and then would mess up.
He moved back closer to me and the children and wanted his visitation again. I let him start seeing them again every other weekend. I then suspected he was using drugs again and refused to let them go one weekend. He finally admitted to using again but after a month of being "clean" wanted the kids back. I refused.
He filed contempt charges and when we went to court was surprised when the judge ordered supervised visitation for him. This order went into effect April 2012.
In April of this year he filed for modification of visitation wanting his weekends back unsupervised. I simply responded that I was unaware of any evidence of that he was being drug tested...and also that he was living with 2 male roommates and I questioned the moral environment, especially with my 10 year old daughter.
Tomorrow we go for a pretrial. Is there any chance that the judge may simply dismiss the whole thing?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question this evening.

Not at pre-trial, no.
As pre-trials deal with the procedures of getting a dispute ready for trial and setting the case for trial, they are not vehicles for resolving contested substantive issues - See more at: http://www.gregoryforman.com/faqs/what-happens-at-a-family-court-pre-trial/#sthash.cvJzndrt.dpuf
As pre-trials deal with the procedures of getting a dispute ready for trial and setting the case for trial, they are not vehicles for resolving contested substantive issues - See more at: http://www.gregoryforman.com/faqs/what-happens-at-a-family-court-pre-trial/#sthash.cvJzndrt.dpuf
Pre-trial hearings deal with the procedure of getting a matter reading for a "trial" (really, in family law cases, that can mean a hearing expected to last 2 hours or longer), and not substantive issues. So, a judge will want to know if the parties have come to any agreement, the issue(s) to be decided, etc. A judge may order that parties attempt mediation prior to the full hearing as well, if they feel an agreement may be possible.

As far as the motion itself goes. I think you have a good chance at winning though. As the moving party, your ex has the burden of proving that the circumstances have substantially changed since the time the previous order was entered and now it is in the best interest of the children to modify the existing order to give him unsupervised visitation.

As for the roommates, absent evidence that these people are somehow going to put your children at risk (e.g., they are drug abusers, sex offenders, etc), I don't see that being the main focus. It would be penalizing your ex for simply having roommates, and lots of people have roommates.

However, I think a judge would want to see evidence from your ex that his drug habit is behind him -for example, proof that he is in NA and has a sponser, or a recent drug test showing that he is clean. Most family law judges I have been in front of don't like to modify existing orders without convincing proof that circumstances are different now and the children will be best served by the requested change.
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10260
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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