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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 111489
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I live in Carrollton, TX - Denton Co. I am the father of a

Customer Question

Good Morning,
I live in Carrollton, TX - Denton Co. I am the father of a 10 yr old girl and was awarded primary custody 3 years ago during my divorce.
This was due to her mother's history of alcohol abuse and 2 occurances of mental instability that required restraining orders during the process of our divorce.
Despite all that incurred: with the help of my lawyer, marriage facilitators, court appointed social specialists it took quite a bit for me to become the primary conservator. I have geographic restrictioins to LISD, contiguous county residences, etc. It was quite a feat to get custody of Emily emotionally and financially.
Over the last 3 years my ex-wife has seen Emily every other weekend from Thurs Pm through Monday am with an overnight on the alternating Thursday night from 5pm to 8 am.
Although a bumpy road my ex wife i thought had found sobriety and stability until a month ago. My ex mother in law informed me that my ex wife was taken to the emergency room for a "stomach issue". I was spoonfed information while she spent 6 days in the hostpital. Released on a Thursday I was informed she would be spending time in a place to help her gain control of anxiety and depression. Her mother told me "i won't tell you where it is". My ex wife called me to speak to emily after being admitted. I googled the phone number and she is in La Hacienda Treatment center in Hunt TX.
Nothing has been confirmed to me but my ex wife had 2 back surgeries in the last year. I feared she would abuse the pain killers and possibly begin to drink again.
She was laid off this January and did not gain employment until September. I did not receive official child support. I tried to put my self in her shoes and just let her help with what she could. I typically received $100 a month.
What do I do? I don't know my ex wife has fallen off the wagon again but I do know that if i allow my daughter to be around her, even after treatment, and something happens I am just as neglegent. If i could get communication from them I can make a decision about how visitation should be or what the procedure is in this case. I have a great lawyer but I don't want to go to court, put my daughter through all this again, etc. I know visitation should be modified. What is best in this case?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
You need to go to court, that is the only way to do this and if the mother is currently unsafe to be with the child you have a duty to protect your daughter. You cannot modify visitation without court order, so at this point you have proof she is in rehab for some addiction and that means she is not fit to be around your daughter. So you need to seek a modification from the court, not just cut off visitation because if you just cut off the visitation you are in contempt of the visitation orders.
I know you do not want to go to court, but you need to file a motion to modify visitation based on this change in circumstances (even though you do not want to do this, it is the only legal way) and this is in the best interests of your daughter to protect her.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
understood. How do I prove or verify the current circumstances without any solid information from her or her family?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You need to file your motion now in court to modify visitation, once you file your motion, you have the name of the facility and you would get a subpoena from the court to get the records from the facilities. It also would be up to her to prove otherwise, since you have proof she is in a rehab and that is all you really need.