E.S. asks from Fairfield, OH on February 17, 2008
Husband Has Mental Issues/alcholism
Advice on how to get REAL evidence that this man has mental issues (his family and my family, his boss and myself think he should be under a psychiatrist's care and possibley in the hosptial) and is a danger to me and our 4 year old daughter so the courts will give him supervised visitation only. He has not sought help, and I haven't called the police on him for domestice violence, nor has he had any dUIs or other things my lawyer says the court would need to give him supervised visitation. He says the judge will say it is all he-she said and give him regular visitation. I won't let this happen. I haven't filed for divorce yet becasue of this. Anyone used a private investigator to help gather evidence? I am not sure what to ask them to look for/do. He really needs help but a family confrontation is out of the question and I have been asking him to do this for 3 years now.
J.R. answers from Cleveland on February 18, 2008
I have first-hand experience with this. I encourage you to pursue a civil protection order (CPO) against your husband. My attorney recommended one when I separated from my husband, and it was the smartest strategy. It kept him away from us during the emotionally-charged divorce, and it gave me tons of leverage in the final agreement. My ex was ultimately granted only supervised visitation with our daughters, and no overnights. (Incidentally, he was also an alcoholic and was on anti-anxiety/depression medication.)
The privacy act will prevent doctors from testifying about your husband's mental state, and I wouldn't involve your husband's boss unless you want him to lose his job and not be able to afford child support.
I didn't need a paper trail to get the CPO (although I could have easily produced one). I only needed witnesses. In fact, I only needed two witnesses...and one of them was my sister who only heard him threaten me over the phone once. I also testified, and so did my ex. Most judges err on the side of caution when there are children involved. Do you have any witnesses who would be willing to testify on your behalf?
I agree with some of the other moms, though -- please be careful. I left my husband first, and stayed with my parents for a few days while I was pursuing the CPO. Then the judge granted me "exclusive use" of the home...which meant my ex had to move out, and my girls & I could go home.
I would be happy to share more of my experience with you, if you think it would be helpful. Just send me a personal message on this site, and we'll get in touch.
I wish you all the best.
T.B. answers from Cincinnati on February 18, 2008
Have you checked to see if you can get him in a 72 hour hold situation. Since he is a danger to himself and others you may be able to. That will force a professional to look at him. If they find he is, then you will be able to get a judge to look at supervised visitation once you go for a divorce.
D.A. answers from Cleveland on February 19, 2008
Please contact a community mental health center or call the county board of mental health for referrals. Tell them this situation. Then go yourself to see someone--not because of your mental health--but because they can link you to the type of help you need w/ this situation. These places have links to many community resources that can give you guidance and answer your questions. Also it will help you to know that you are not alone w/ this. This is a tough thing for you to go through and there are many agencies that can help in the process as you go through it. Take care.
H.M. answers from Evansville on February 23, 2008
E., I understand exactly what you are going through. I was in the very same situation. Have you ever heard of Al-anon. It is a support group for loved ones of alcoholics. There are meetings in most cities. I find it very helpful, you should definately try it. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel, even if your husband is getting no help. You can only control you, not him. I tried to control my ex for years until I realized that was my part in it. Feel free to message me if you want to. I will share my story with you and maybe it will help.
T.W. answers from Dayton on February 19, 2008
I agree with some of the advice you have been given here. Document everything, even if you think it is small, put it down too! The thing with a person with alcohol but especially mental issue's, you usually can't MAKE them get help. If he does threaten to hurt himself or anyone else in your presense, you can call the police and explain the situation to them and that he has untreated mental health issue's and is threatening himself and others. They may "Pink Slip" him for his own good. Which means he will have three days in a psych ward at a hospital that he will HAVE to stay for.
You may want to get a PI to get more setailed infor as to his drinking and definately inform the court of your worries about your daughter with him. If you have enough documentation and proof they will order a psych eval and make it manditory for him.
I really feel for you, as I dealt with alcoholism during my childhood as well as mental illness. My mother has issue's and so does my 19 yr old son. My mother has been doing wonderful for yrs and my son is doing better than ever... with help.
Good luck to you and your daughter!
L.H. answers from Indianapolis on February 19, 2008
If you can get some evidence, even a paper trail of his erratic behavior and it looks like you have others that support your thinking, you can have them all testify and present that during your divorce hearing and have your lawyer request that he have a psych evaluation before he is able to have any rights with your daughter. Most likely his family, you and your family will also have to undergo such evaluations, but if you're right his issues will be made light and he can get some help. My BIL going thru the same issues with my former SIL. She is bi-polar and in denial, off her meds, etc. He chose not to spend the extra $$ for the eval and now my nephews are paying the price.
C.L. answers from Indianapolis on February 19, 2008
Is he willing to change? If the answer is no- which that is what it seems... Yes get a private investigator for evidence of threats etc. If you have decided you are done w/ him and cannot help him, then do everything you can to keep your daughter away from him- but you do need proof of mental/ unsual behavior... Is alcohol the culprit? Sounds as if this is not worth trying to save the marriage? I am not sure what your questions is? Is drinking the issue or is he mentally compromised? I am trying to figure out how I can help. My other half used to drink a lot- to the point of bad behavior...we went to AAA and got him to admit partially he is one.... then things started getting better... Write back so I can help..
L.H. answers from Hickory on February 18, 2008
You need to to talk to the police about a 72 hour hold. Usually, an event, or threat must be recent to have one issued. The other thing you need to do is to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! All eratic behavior needs to be videoed, if possible. Try to get a written statement from anyone that witnesses any violent actions towards himself, you or his daughter. Involve his boss in this, if he is willing, so they can do the same at work. You need to create a paper trail of evidence. You also need to start calling the police ANY time there is even a threat of violence around you or your child. That would show a judge that there is a pattern of violent behavior. Does your husband have a doctor of any sort? If so, try to involve the doc in what is going on. You also need to make arrangements for a safe place that you and your daughter can go to hide if he does start getting violent. Keep enough cash, clothes, toiletries and some toys hidden in a safe place. If you need to run, you will have everything ready. Most importantly, don't doubt yourself. If you feel scared, contact the authorities. Trust your instincts! Best wishes to you on a safe resolution to this. You will be in my prayers.