Meeting your ex for a custody exchange can be a highly stressful situation, especially if you and your ex have been in conflict. You may be held in contempt of court if you refuse to allow your children’s other parent to take them for a scheduled visitation. However, the situation changes if your ex is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If your ex shows up to a custody exchange in what you believe to be an intoxicated condition, you will have to choose your actions carefully.
Your most important priority is to keep your children safe. Assess the situation without alarming the children. If you can, find someone else to watch the kids while your talk to your ex.
Tell your ex about your concerns, and listen carefully to the explanation. If your ex is preparing to drive the children somewhere, it’s a more dangerous situation than if your ex is a passenger in a car.
Consider whether or not your ex has a history of abusing alcohol or drugs. If it seems that the situation is part of a relapse, your children could be in danger.
Don’t just refuse to relinquish the kids and then leave. If you are choosing to deny your ex a court ordered visitation, you will need backup from another source.
Call the police and explain the situation. An officer can come to your location and administer a sobriety test. No matter what the officer finds, you will have a police report to show the court if your actions are called into question.
Your children’s safety should always be your main concern. Beyond that, it is important to comply with court orders. Be responsible and calm, and you will be able to determine the best course of action.
For more information on matters of child custody, contact Beckman Steen & Lungstrom, P.A..