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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 39137
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I am divorcing my wife (in CA) due to irreconcilable differences

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I am divorcing my wife (in CA) due to irreconcilable differences - she is very spiteful and angry and wants me to have no visitation - I am asking for joint legal custody and 20% visitation. I have ADHD (successfully being treated) and developed an alcohol abuse problem in the last 2 years for which I entered and successfully completed an Intensive Outpatient Program recently - I have been sober for over 90 days and am willing to submit to random screenings. We are separated and I have been fully supporting her financially and have no issues continuing to do so but want to be able to take my kids every other weekend to visit grandparents and do activities with. What are my chances of success? She threatens everything such as moving out of state and is demanding to access my medical records and will not agree to mediation.

I've dealt with alcoholism and child custody in California before. There is no reason why you cannot receive a typical "every other weekend and holiday" schedule, as well as several weeks of custody in summertime. The issue really boils down to your testifying in court that you are sober and you have no intention of drinking at any time again in the future.

If the court thinks that you believe that drinking is still a choice -- rather than an absolute prohibition in your life, then the court may thank you for your honesty, and then cut your custody/visitation down to supervised and a few hours every other weekend.

So, when you are asked "are you drinking at all," the answer is "no." And when you're asked "do you intend to drink at any time in the future," your answer is "no." Do not vary from that testimony (and, of course, stay away from alcoholic beverages) and you will be fine.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX committed to sobriety and have found much more rewarding coping mechanisms to deal with stress. I do still want to know about the ADHD and the confidentiality of those medical records - I have been seeing the same Psychiatrist for over a year and he is pleased with my progress and is willing to write a letter stating such - how much of an impact may this have either way?

Your physical and mental health are at issue, where child custody is also at issue. You can ask the court to seal the record and close the hearings concerning the issues -- however, you cannot avoid being questioned about your mental health as part of a custody hearing/trial -- unless you stipulate to custody before trial (which doesn't seem likely).

Hope this helps.
socrateaser and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you - very helpful.

You're welcome and good luck!