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Question
Posted by: Just wondering | 2011-03-03

Custody

To make a long story short, my husband and I have been together for 6 years. We’ ve been married for 1 year and 4 months. We have 3 year old little girl. He was a drug addict for about a year (cocaine and heroin) and went to rehab and has been clean for almost 4 years now. During that time while he was on drugs he sold all of my possessions as well as his own. He also used my credit cards to the max, and stole my salary for months on end. Thus causing me not to pay my debts and I am now blacklisted. We had our home reposed, and his car was reposed as well. We moved away from the city and have managed to start all over again. However, he has now developed a drinking problem for about the last 2 years now. He spends about on average R 1,500.00 a month on alcohol.

However, I have come to point where I need to consider all my options as his drinking is getting out of hand. He drinks almost every day and gives himself a rest on Sundays. He has his own business and makes roughly R 30,000.00 per month. Whereas I only earn R 5,000.00 per month. He has threatened many times that the courts will never grant me custody to my child as I earn less than what he does.

I live in a small town, and the salary I earn is considered rather high for the area. I could leave and move to Johannesburg where I could easily earn up to R 15,000.00 a month I’ m sure. I’ d be able to set up a home for myself and my daughter. But where do I stand, as our income brackets are clearly not the same? Will I be able to gain custody of my child? I don’ t want to keep him away from her I just don’ t want him to have sole custody and never see my child. How would I prove to the court that he has a drinking problem?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

I can't see any reason why the primary residence of the child will not be awarded to you, especially in light of his drug - drinking problem. I suggest that you consult and attorney and get a Rule 43 order in place pending the divorce whereby you gain care (custody) and he pays maintenance pending the divorce.

Bertus Preller
B.Proc; AD Dip L Law
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
Established 1935
1st Floor, 56 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, 8000
O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323
Direct Fax: 086 572 8373
E: bertus@divorceattorney.co.za
W: http: www.divorceattorney.co.za
Twitter: www.twitter.com/edivorce
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2
Our users say:
Posted by: family law expert | 2011-03-12

I can't see any reason why the primary residence of the child will not be awarded to you, especially in light of his drug - drinking problem. I suggest that you consult and attorney and get a Rule 43 order in place pending the divorce whereby you gain care (custody) and he pays maintenance pending the divorce.

Bertus Preller
B.Proc; AD Dip L Law
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
Established 1935
1st Floor, 56 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, 8000
O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323
Direct Fax: 086 572 8373
E: bertus@divorceattorney.co.za
W: http: www.divorceattorney.co.za
Twitter: www.twitter.com/edivorce
Facebook: www.facebook.com/divorceattorneys

Reply to family law expert
Posted by: Casey | 2011-03-03

The courts will favour in the parent who will be able to take care of the child. The chances are not much that they will give custody to the father if he is an alcoholic.

Reply to Casey

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