I have a terrible problem, and I know I need a lawyer, not a counselor. But I can’t afford a lawyer, and you’re free when you are HeyJohn. My ex-husband “B” and I have had an ongoing war about the custody of our seven year old daughter. I live in Texas, and he lives in Louisiana. He hates my current boyfriend (and hates me too). He knows Jorge smokes pot. I used to as well, but haven’t smoked much in the last few years. He called child welfare and said our daughter was in danger because of drugs. They said I had to give them a urine analysis or they would take my daughter. My pee test came up clean. So then they said they wanted to do a hair follicle test. I showed trace amounts of THC. I had smoked a little a week or two before and it showed up on that super sensitive test. My bad ex took me back to court a month later, and the judge gave him primary custody of our little girl. I never had any arrest, charges or anything. Do you think that is fair? I’m going crazy without her, I miss her so much. What can I do?
In this format, I do not have the opportunity to ask some important questions. To clarify the situation, I’d ask:
- Have you had “Child Welfare” in your life before? If so, why?
- Is smoking the weed a precursor to other drug use? Have you had a problem with drugs (/alcohol) since your daughter was born?
- Any priors with the law?
As to what to do, I would first seek out free legal aid from my town, as this is likely now a legal issue. If they won’t help, get a referral from them. If I could not get help, I would write a brief, concise letter to all local news publications. Here we have BrownwoodNews.com , the Brownwood Bulletin, the Abilene Reporter News and the Ft. Worth Star Telegram. Follow the publication’s instructions as to not exceed the maximum length. Next, work on your own physical and mental health. See her as much as you are allowed. Keep the visits upbeat and fun for her. No complaining or crying (from you). We need to put up a good front on our children’s behalf to keep them as worry-free as we can. Do not deal with your sadness with chemicals, especially alcohol. Anti-depressants can help, as might SHORT TERM use of an anxiety medication. If you are a church attendee, it would seem like an especially good time to re-connect. Consistent exercise can also be very helpful, as it gives a sense of accomplishment and control as well as endorphin release in the body.
I am not suggesting smoking marijuana is great for parenting, but it sure as hell is not so dangerous that a child should be removed. I wish you perseverance. May your love of your child bring the best outcome for her.