If you plan to divorce an abusive alcoholic spouse, you want to protect your children from the same problems in the future. However, it may not be easy for you to do so if the spouse seeks joint custody of your kids. Fighting the custody arrangements of the impending divorce isn't something you want to do alone, especially if the other parent refuses to seek help for their abusive and alcoholic tendencies. You should contact a family law attorney to help you obtain full custody of your children.

Do You Need Evidence of the Spouse's Destructive and Abusive Behavior?

Joint custody gives you and the other parent equal rights regarding the care, upbringing and living decisions of your kids. But if the other parent can't meet their kids' emotional needs, family court intervenes and awards full custody to the parent that can meet their kids' needs.

Two of the reasons for the change in custodial rights are alcohol and domestic violence. If your future ex has a recorded history of violence and alcoholism, an attorney must present this evidence to a family court judge before your divorce proceedings end. Simply stating that the spouse abuses you and alcohol isn't sufficient evidence in your case.

A family law attorney obtains written police records of any calls you made to them regarding the abuse, including emergency calls to the paramedics and local police authorities.

Arrest records of the other parent come in handy as well. The records may show the level or blood alcohol content of the other parent at the time of the arrests, as well as how long they spent in jail afterward. 

It may take the attorney some time to obtain the right evidence they need for your case. 

Can the Attorney Take Immediate Action Until Your Custody Case Ends?

You should avoid meeting the abusive and alcoholic spouse alone, even when they visit your kids. If the other parent refuses to visit your children in the presence of other adults, such as a relative or close friend, the family lawyer can ask the court to assign a mediator to your case.

A mediator is a legal professional who regulates meetings between divorcing couples. The mediator assigned to your case can also attend and regulate the visitations of the other parent, as well as:

  • Observe the behavior of the other spouse and record their findings for the attorney and family court.
  • Keep the visitations free of hostility, such as name-calling and bullying.
  • Monitor your kids to see if they fear the other parent and document their observations on paper.

You may wish to avoid the mediated visitations to prevent problems with the other parent.

For more information, contact The Law Offices of John G. McGill, Jr. or a similar firm.