Ask A Lawyer: My Ex Overdosed, Can I Get Custody Now?


My ex and I have one child together and for the past two years my ex hasn’t worked. She recently got kicked out of the house she was living in because she overdosed on Vicodin. Therefore, she can’t provide a roof over my son’s head.

I know I have a better lifestyle than she does. Where do I start to pursue custody and what can I reasonably expect?





Of course, you start with retaining an experienced domestic litigation attorney or firm, such as Cordell & Cordell.  You should consult your selected attorney and bring with you to your initial consultation your custody documents and any available documentation as to your ex’s problems and how her conduct impacts your child (police reports, family services reports, your child’s school and medical records, etc).  You will also need to be candid with your attorney as to your situation and any issues your ex may raise about your conduct that could affect your child.  It is best to lay out as much information for your attorney at the front end to get a frank assessment of the issues, strategies, potential outcomes, time involved, and cost range.

Your attorney can then give you a general outline as to what you can expect.  The exact litigation history and timing may dictate how soon you may proceed to seek custody. Custody cases, even those that should be straightforward, can become complicated and expensive.  The unpredictability is, in part, due to not knowing exactly how the opposing party will respond and how opposing counsel will approach the case.  An experienced domestic litigation attorney can provide the insight into how the case might unfold in your jurisdiction and with specific opposing counsels.


Richard Coffee is a Litigation Manager in the Belleville Illinois office of Cordell & Cordell. He is an experienced divorce attorney whose practice is devoted to domestic litigation. He is licensed in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.

Mr. Coffee has extensive domestic litigation trial experience representing clients in courts throughout Illinois on all aspects of domestic litigation, including the representation of clients who are current or retired military personnel with issues under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, clients involved in state court jurisdictional disputes due to the relocation of one or both parties from or to Illinois, and clients with government or private pension benefit valuation and division issues. 

End of Content Icon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *