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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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My family took my girls tonight. I developed a drinking

Customer Question

My family took my girls tonight. I developed a drinking problem 2 1/2 years ago when my husband died. I've made some mistakes but haven't made any in the last 4 months. I haven't quit drinking but I have cut back a lot. I don't go to the bars everyday anymore and I only drink at the bars on the weekend when I don't have them. I work Friday nights and go to the bar afterwards when my girls are with their grandparents. We have been doing so much better. I moved us into a new beautiful home. My girls are happy. I am happy. They have found out recently things I did 4 months ago that I have stopped doing. And are using that against me to take my girls unless I go to a 3 month in patient rehab. I do not understand why they didn't do this 4-9 months ago and now that I am better they are doing it now. My question is, can they use what I did 4 months ago against me when I don't and will not do again, against me to take them. I want to call the cops so I can get them back but I'm scared they are going to tell them what I did 4 months ago to take them from me. That is what they are threatening me. They have been trying to find a reason to take my girls since the day my husband died and now they have one. But it's expired and I cannot be proven as an unfit mother today or in the last 4 months. Please help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, My name is ***** ***** I would be glad to answer your question. I understand your difficult situation and also understand how you must feel when you hear that someone is trying to take your children away from you. Please do not worry, everything will be fine. I recently represented a client in a custody battle who was a recovering action, claiming alcoholic. She was the mother of 2 young children and her husband filed a custody action, asking for full physical and legal custody of their 2 daughters. The father and his lawyer based their argument on the mother's alcoholism, claiming that she was an unfit mother. Very briefly, my strategy was that I would not dispute the fact that my client was an alcoholic, but I used that fact to strengthen my argument as to why the father's Petition for Custody should be denied and why my client should be awarded full custody, even though she had not checked into a treatment facility.

Basically, and in a 'nutshell' my argument to the Court was along the following lines,

"Yes, Mrs. X is an alcoholic. But, she has acknowledged this fact, she has been attending AA meetings every day, has gotten a sponsor, and her sponsor has begun to work the steps with her. And while it is true that she is only on the first step of AA's 12-step Program, that step is the hardest of all the Steps. " We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable."

I also argued that my client's sponsor had her doing a "90 in 90", i.e. 90 meetings in 90 days. And informed the Court that she had not had a drink in 6 months, had received her 24-hour coin, her 30-day coin, and her 90-day coin, and was following her sponsor's suggestions to the letter, i.e., She was making a meeting every day, spoke to another recovering alcoholic every day, asked her Higher Power each morning to give her strength not to pick up a drink that day and thanked her Higher Power each night for giving her the strength not to pick up a drink that day, so that she had another day sober. Of course, I went into more detail during my argument to the Judge. The result of the hearing on the father's Petition for Custody was that the Judge denied the father's Petition and awarded physical and legal custody to my client with liberal visitation rights for the father. Of course, both he and his lawyer were very surprised at this result, but it made by client very, very happy. You did not say who was forcing you to enter a 3-month in-patient program in a rehab, so I will assume that this demand is being made on you by the grandparents. And they do not have the authority to demand that you enter a treatment facility. You did not say anything specific about what the grandparents claim you did 3 months ago, but you can tell me what they are referring to during our telephone conversation and then I will be able to tell you if they can present this to the Judge and if it would negatively impact your situation and any action for custody you filed with the Court. I am a mother of 2 daughters, so I can understand what you are going through and the loss you would feel if the grandparents were to be awarded custody of your children. I would be doing a serious injustice if I did not also tell you that the Judge will ask you if you are still drinking. If your answer to the Judge is "Yes, but only on weekends", you will substantially weaken your case in any custody battle with the grandparents. I can go into a little more detail on this issue during out telephone conversation. I will send you JustAnswer's Offer of Additional Services so that we can discuss your case on the 'phone , you can ask me about other issues relating to custody of your children that concern you, and you can tell me what issue you were referring to that occurred several months ago and which you were wondering if the grandparents can use this against you. Please let me know if you do not receive the Offer of Additional Services within 5 to 10 minutes of the time that this part of my Answer is posted.

Please be kind enough to leave a Positive rating for my assistance to you today.

Kindest regards,