I live in Fall River Massachusetts, moved here from East Providence five years ago. My sons father and I were never married, but he has physical custody over my son. The father has been a drug addict and addicted to heroin for several years now and will not quit. Since we moved to Fall River my ex became a heroin addict after we split up and he obtained physical custody of my child. My son is now eight years old and obviously understand that his father has serious drug problem. He gets clean, goes to meetings and then every 5 to 6 months relapses in his back on heroin or pills. I’m obviously warrior about my son’s well-being and what he seeing his father do. What can I do? How do I get physical custody of my child?
Sadly to say in Fall River and New Bedford Massachusetts, the problem of heroin addiction is one that we all know all too well. The simple fact that your ex has a drug problem, is a great reason for you to obtain full physical custody. Furthermore, you should also obtain full legal custody, as the father is incapable of making proper decisions for himself, how could he possibly make decisions for a child. Obviously I would suggest that you obtain the services of an experienced family law attorney to handle this matter. An attorney would file a motion and obtain drug testing for your ex to prove that he is a drug addict. In a situation such as this we would require the drug testing to be for performed on either armpit here or pubic hair which actually allows testing of up to one year of drug use. Meaning that you could prove that over the past year your ex has used drugs such as heroin, where a urine or blood test will only demonstrate if he had used within the last week. Little things such as this, of the reason you need an experienced attorney who knows which types of tests to ask for. Furthermore the well-being of your child is being severely affected by being in the presence of someone who is addicted to drugs. We would also require that all visitation be supervised, until your ex has been drug-free for at least one year or more. Also once you obtain physical custody of the child, we would address child support. If the father a child at this point has physical custody of the child, obviously you are not receiving child support. Once you do receive full physical custody of the child, we would also obtain child support from the father to help you pay the additional cost of raising that child in your household. This process may take several months, which is why emergency temporary orders should also be filed before the entire process is complete. Drug testing using armpit hair or pubic hair take significantly longer than drug testing with urine or blood, which is the reason for the emergency temporary orders to be placed.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723
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