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Divorce/Separation :
Soberlink + Custody Shift

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 funnelcakes (original poster member #45249) posted at 5:54 AM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Greetings, my favorite purple peeps.

In the five years post-divorce, I've had sole custody of the three cakelets. They are now in HS, MS, and elementary school. The terms of the divorce allowed the ex Herr Funnelcakes (the pineapple fucker) to have EOW and 1 weeknight dinner with the kids if he complied with the limitations in terms of alcohol monitoring.

In a move that will surprise negative infinity percent of the people familiar with him, he was unable to comply with the terms. They were to 1. file monthly treatment updates with the court; 2. to allow me to speak with his treatment providers as needed and 3. for me to be able to request up to 2 urine analysis tests for alcohol per month. (Not that he has a problem peeing...insert trombone noise.) If he didn't comply, he was to use supervised visits. Which he has been doing sporadically for over 4 years. Sometimes he would go 6 months without seeing the kids. Sometimes he would set up a visit with a supervisor and they would sit in a booth at a Subway next to the highway for two hours. Sometimes he would schedule regular visits. I only once attempted to contact his providers (they were like WTF, who are you) and fewer than 5 times requested UAs, always coinciding with a visit. He maybe filed 20% of the treatment updates with the court during the past 5 years. Which he couldn't do for whatever curvature of the earth lasagna Bernoulli's principle funnelcakes is a meany kumquats blah blah reasons.


Bottom line, I'm happy we're divorced and I'm not the vice squad. If he's not filing regular updates with the court and generally non-compliant, I don't give a shit what he's up to. If he has the kids unsupervised? Then I would give all of the shits.

Amidst the panini he's decided that the best way to avoid the rona during visits is to conduct them with a social worker in his converted ambulance-cum-camper. This is not relevant to the legal milieu nor even my current question but I'm only 99% detached and still find it exquisitely delicious that the only solution he's found for parenting is in a literal waaaah-mbulance. If you try to 180 but you only do 178, things like this will come up and you will laugh way too hard.

Since the divorce, he's lost some jobs, got a DUI, sadly lost his mother to pancreatic cancer (I was able to see her with the kiddos before she passed...love her forever and and eternally grateful I got the chance.) He's sent us to mediation twice, called the cops on me for a "wellness check", filed three motions that have been thrown out by the court or that they have struck the day before, cost me thousands in legal fees, and most recently tried another round of unsuccessful mediation last year. That went to non-binding arbitration to give us a new parenting plan. Since the mediator/arbitrator is also a family court judge* it seemed like if he took his complaints back to court the arbitration would stand. Please note that he would not sign the new arbitrated agreement he initiated, even though my attorney followed up on it. Repeatedly.

Then the pustulant carbuncle writes to me more than half a year after arbitration saying, "since we have a new parenting plan Imma start having unsupervised visits" and I reminded him that he never signed the new agreement nor was it filed with the court and that under the plan effective at the time of the divorce he was not in compliance. This meant another motion against me including being asked for fees. The family court judge in the hearing didn't even allow my attorney to argue, he just awarded ME fees...that's how unhinged their motion was. But it did put the new parenting plan into effect.

With the new parenting plan -- which is materially the same in terms of custody time if the feckless mouthbreather ever does the alcohol compliance -- he has to file monthly treatment updates, give me access to his alcohol treatment providers, a month to activate monitoring with Soberlink for twice daily breathalyzer tests. Which, I low-key hate because I do not care if he's pickling himself into oblivion unless he's with the kids. Get hammered with his new friends (because he can't keep the old ones) -- I don't care. Mimosas with his girlf**? Not my circus unless my kids are there. But thanks to Soberlink monitoring, starting last week I started getting daily e-mails of the results of his breathalyzer tests.

For everyone jonesing for a plot twist, you will be disappointed that he continues to be on brand and not 36 hours after activating Soberlink (three months after he was ordered to do in within 30 days) he missed a test at 8:00 p.m. Friday. I'm sure there are many reasons one could not access a cell-phone connected breathalyzer on 8:00 p.m. on a Friday, and so that's y'all's creative writing prompt for the week.

This is now in my consciousness in a way that it never was before, because it's new data that I have to track and use to show him he's not in compliance. I also never wanted this level of enmeshment with his addiction, because when he was doing his treatment theater after D-Day it was clear that the field on which I grew my fucks was barren. The other thing that is bizarre about his whole alcoholism journey is that his interpretation of the divorce was that I left him at his lowest point in his life.***..he has brought this up in every mediation since the divorce. The mediator actually popped into my zoom room on the last go round, as was like, yo, WTF with this guy****.

Anyhow, I'm mostly writing to vent about the new plan which allows more granular insights into his wankery and also to ask the eternal yet largely rhetorical question what the hell does one actually DO with said data points. Anybody used Soberlink as part of custody stuff? Wisdom?

The kids are thriving. Everybody is doing some kind of quirky extracurricular. They're all in advanced learning tracks at their respective schools. They made me a Mothers Day card from the washer and dryer. They can cook meals, joke in several languages, and have the tightest sibling bond ever. None of this will end if he starts getting unsupervised visits, but the older two are pretty uninterested in having their lives disrupted travel to a beige culdesac in the exurbs every other weekend when they don't really have a relationship with him. He hasn't really comprehended that they've aged from 8,5, and 1. The eldest just turned 15 and he got her a LEGO set of Disney's Frozen. Like, she's into Mandarin, poker, ukulele, and calculus right now...she's not seven...LET IT GO, dude.

Theoretically, he could work into some new phases of custody (e.g. 6 hours unsupervised, one overnight per week, EOW) but every slip will result in re-setting to supervised visits. I'm not looking forward to the logistics churn nor the return to dealing with him and his fragile grasp on the space/time continuum. Or his finely honed if wildly misapplied sense of justice. I'm also scared to look forward to any time off from the cakelets, as I think it will be truncated by stupid and because I don't want to get my hopes up that my gentleman caller and I could actually have 24 hours of uninterrupted time to pursue our mutual interests*****.

So talk to me about long-term shared custody with an alcoholic. Talk to me about your Soberlink monitoring. Tips? Tricks? Commiserations? I'm all ears.

*WTAF with this family court industrial complex???

**Not the AP but to paraphrase the immortal ADryHeat: I hope for the sake of the sisterhood that he's dating laterally but for the sake of my kids I hope he's dating up.

***Yes, divorcing an unremorseful cheating alcoholic after we were fired from a year from marriage counseling. Total betrayal of vows on my part.

****Seriously don't blame supply chain issues because no one has been able to find a tiny violin. This guy has all of them. He's hoarding a strategic reserve of tiny violins.

*****Hahaha I'm not referring to documentaries and geocaching in this particular context.

d-day in August of 2014, when I was SAHM 34 weeks pregnant with kid #3
A year of incontinent alcoholic cheater word salad and shitweasely blameshifting during R/S
I got a job and busted a move with three kids to a 1BR apt
D final 4/27/17.

posts: 1168   ·   registered: Oct. 15th, 2014
id 8734300
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nomudnolotus ( member #59431) posted at 12:28 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

The eldest just turned 15 and he got her a LEGO set of Disney's Frozen. Like, she's into Mandarin, poker, ukulele, and calculus right now...she's not seven...LET IT GO, dude.

I have no advice or wisdom but this made me laugh out loud. Thanks for that!

posts: 243   ·   registered: Jun. 30th, 2017
id 8734446
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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 5:16 PM on Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

Funnelcakes, great to see you and read your amazing posts again. I have no advice about SoberLink but I think his failure to comply may be a blessing in disguise. IME with alcoholics, they get angry when reality has changed from their perceptions. And of course it's everyone else's fault but their own. Being greeted by two teens who aren't enthused to see him may cause him to lash out. Maybe at you. Maybe at them. Maybe at the clouds. Who knows. Your kids sound awesome so maybe they just don't need him until he's ready to be a real parent. Here's to hoping the future continues to be bright and douchebag free!

posts: 5127   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8734708
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 11:35 PM on Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

Soberlink is growing in popularity and use in family court. As a lawyer, I get regular updates from soberlink regrding the parties in the cases in which it’s being used. It’s a pretty robust and reliable system as best I can tell.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 211   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8734765
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BrokenheartedUK ( member #43520) posted at 12:54 AM on Thursday, May 12th, 2022

Funnelcakes!! So awesome to hear you, less so regarding Ex-Herr Funnelcakes... Gah. I'm sorry. What a dick.

Is it possible to redirect the responsibility for oversight to either his lawyer or a court appointed social worker? This seems bizarrely put into your remit. I get that you would want this information, of course, but as you say, it's also tying you to his addiction. Ugh. That seems onerous on you. If you had a social worker triaging and sending you updates in an aggregate that seems to make more sense.

FWIW, my ex has also continued a downward spiral including alcohol abuse but generally just to supplement the world's longest pity party and continues to whine about how sad he is that everyone abandoned him. JFC. You can't make this shit up. Unlike yours, my kids were older during all this and time, distance and the constant beat of their father's insanity has just clarified their perspective. Which boils down to "he's a crazy person." It's painful that we're saddled with these jokers forever. Our poor kids. My Ex, like yours, steadfastly refuses to get any professional support so the beat just continues.

Me? I've gone back to earn a Masters, have started a career mid-life, have settled down happily with a guy who, wait for it... is actually nice. Really, really nice (also smart, funny, warm, willing to get into therapy, open with his emotions and all around an authentic dude). My kids adore him. At this point, I've had one kid graduate from a top tier college (despite bombing his A levels in the UK which coincided with DDay and that fun family experience), one that's about to and my "baby" is in her sophomore year of college and loving every second of it. I could not be more proud of them and myself for being able to provide stability and sensitivity for them to find their bearings in the post infidelity/marriage apocalypse we endured. I feel relief and profound happiness that we've all waded our way through this mess and are on the other side. Thriving.

I've loved (99%) of your updates. It's wonderful to hear how you've overcome this experience. I'm sorry that you continue to be so tethered to your Ex. It's an albatross covered in crude oil hanging around your neck.

((()))

Me: BS
He cheated and then lied. Apparently cheaters lie. Huh. 13 months of false R. Divorced! 8/16 3 teenage kids
"The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon"
-Mizuta Masahide

posts: 3352   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2014
id 8734780
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ADryHeat ( member #46484) posted at 6:04 AM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

My friend! First and foremost, I’m honored to be immortalized in your update. I would like to thank my Wasband for giving me two amazing kids and a sharpened level of dark humor.

I’m sorry to hear about your girls’ grandma. So glad you got to say your goodbyes.

I have no advice on alcohol monitoring. My ex would last 4.2 minutes before he would violate the terms of your agreement, and I cannot imagine having real time info on his shenanigans.

As for your creative writing prompt- I’m no FC nor am I a NTV, but my kids are in bed and I’ve got time.

Ch 1.

Herr Wetsheets looked up from where he rested upon the fold out mattress that was haphazardly rolled out on top of the laminate kitchen tabletop in his wahhhmbulance, eager to log into his app at precisely 8:00 pm in order to comply with the court order from his evil ex-wife. 7:43 pm. Good, he still had 27 minutes left! Or was it 37? 17? Fuck. He was so much better at doing clock math when he had just a nip of rum in him. The wahhhmbulance was dark, so he felt around with one hand to find the rum bottle. Panic set in as he realized he must have knocked it over - the foam roll he slept upon was wet below his torso. Maybe, just maybe he could suck the rum from the foam? Wring it out into a glass? He had to think of something quickly because the clock now said 7:46 which meant he only had…hmmmm…16 minutes? Something like that. Math was hard.

Frantic now, he slid off the mattress, narrowly avoiding knocking the pineapple off the sticky countertop. He glanced furtively around the wahhhmbulance’s bitchen (bathroom/kitchen combo - quite genius of him because the toilet doubled as a convenient spot to soak potatoes without wasting any water!) briefly considering drinking the remnants of last night’s drink which was now just melted ice and sticky liquid dregs. Shaking his head while bracing himself against the bitchen curtain rod, he reconsidered. Rum was the only thing that would work, so he must get it from the mattress! But could be sure it was rum? He leaned in close to sniff and then snapped his head back when he recognized the acrid smell of urine.

But how? How was there urine on his bed? It didn’t make any sense. He stared for a moment, unable to understand, then shook his head and looked back to the clock.

Shit! It was 8:02.


——fin——

You’re welcome 😉

Me: BS
Married 11 years, 2 young kids
DDay 11/3/14, Discovered he was still a fuckwit: 7/10/15
DIVORCED 11/12/2015
"Sometimes when you're in a dark place you think you've been buried, but actually you've been planted."

posts: 2394   ·   registered: Jan. 24th, 2015   ·   location: AZ
id 8734978
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aprilfool1985 ( member #56750) posted at 1:41 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

Hi there Funnelcakes!

Could you set up a filter in your email to send emails from Soberlink to a folder/label, take them out of your inbox, and mark them as read? Then you wouldn’t even need to see them until you had a need for the monitoring data. If you name the label ZZZ_formerHFC or something like that, then it will be so far down on your list of labels that you really won’t see it.

Me: BS, of a certain age Him: WS, of a certain age +3 events in question around 1985, M 1988, several adult children

posts: 109   ·   registered: Jan. 8th, 2017   ·   location: United States
id 8735246
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 7:55 PM on Sunday, May 15th, 2022

I want to make a serious suggestion that has absolutely NOTHING to do with what you are asking about…

Alcoholism is frighteningly hereditary. It can skip generations, it can affect everyone in one leg of the family and not other… whatever. What is clear though is that it’s not a disease caused by a lack of willpower. It’s a disease! An illness. Its like some types of arthritis are hereditary, or bone-weakness. And as with many illnesses you can limit the odds of getting it or activating it by some life-choices.

One important factor is delaying the age where you start using substances like weed or beer.
For a person with alcoholic tendencies (due to family genetics) smoking a joint can be like flicking a light-switch. The older and more mature your brain is the better it is capable of realizing this and possibly controlling it before it becomes an issue.
I don’t have the stats at hand to back this up, but I have read research that indicates that if you can delay your child from using drugs or alcohol until they reach 20 you have decreased the chances of addiction considerably. At the same time, if a 15-year teenager starts smoking weed the odds of activating the alcoholic switch increase considerably, especially if there is addiction in the family.

My suggestion would be to be very frank with your kids about their dad’s illness (alcoholism) and how it can run in families. That they need to realize that even experimenting (like nearly all kids do) can set them off on some bad track. Personally I rewarded my kids with their driving license and the use of a really beat up car for being sober.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10601   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8735456
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 9:31 PM on Sunday, May 15th, 2022

Seriously don't blame supply chain issues because no one has been able to find a tiny violin. This guy has all of them. He's hoarding a strategic reserve of tiny violins.

No wonder my H has not been able to find a tiny violin to play lately! laugh

I was thinking the same as aprilfool. You need a setting that sends the sobriety (or lack thereof) updates to a folder before they ever sully your eyeballs. Or send them to an alternate email address. willneverstaysober@gmail or sorryexcuseforahuman@yahoo

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5467   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8735466
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WornDown ( member #37977) posted at 5:12 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

That was an awesome write up. THanks for making my day! laugh

That said...

How are you getting this info from Soberlink? Emails?

How ever you are getting it, just file it away and don't bother looking at it unless you need to (ie, court). If it's emails, that's easy - just set up your email program/account to automatically send said emails to a folder (or better - another account that you don't visit every day (if you do this, you can have it deleted from your main (original) account, so you'll only see them when YOU decide to go looking).

Out of sight, out of mind.

Me: BH (50); exW (49): Way too many guys to count. Three kids (D, D, S, all >20)Together 25 years, married 18; Divorced (July 2015)

I divorced a narc. Separate everything. NC as much as humanly possible and absolutely no phone calls. - Ch

posts: 3359   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2013   ·   location: Around the Block a few times
id 8735714
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