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Venn Crawford

He might be your father, stepdad, or husband, but this Sunday, you’re celebrating him for being Dad.

There’s a lot of work that goes into being a dad. Dad brings us water and sits with us when we’re sick to our stomach. Dad walks the dog we promised we’d take care of. Dad keeps us safe from the monsters in our closets and the real ones outside. Dad does all this because he loves us. And that love right there is what makes him a Dad, whether he’s related to us or not.

This Fathers’ Day, make sure to give your Dad some of that love back, and let him know that yes, you do notice how much he does for you. If you’re not sure how to celebrate him, check out some of the ideas below.

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Carolyn Woodruff

Our first reader today finds herself in a very difficult situation: her husband is abusing opioids and alcohol, and their children are aware. She knows divorce is the only option if her husband won’t get clean, but is worried, as he supports their family. Our second reader has been separated for some time, and wants to know how divorce will affect the business he and his brothers inherited from their father.

Dear Carolyn,

My spouse is using both prescription opioids (Percocet) and alcohol. I do not think he has a prescription for the Percocet, and there are lots of cash withdrawals from our bank account. I am suspicious he is buying on the street, but where? And how? He had back surgery three years ago and I know he was using Percocet about six months. I don’t think his doctor is giving him Percocet anymore, as the health insurance is mine, and I don’t see it coming through.

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Carolyn Woodruff

Dear Carolyn,

I have an example of corruption that exists in the family court system in North Carolina. My ex-wife is requesting increased child support. When I requested all of her financial documents, she provided fraudulent tax returns to the courts in order to gain increased child support payments from me. When I advised the judge of the fraudulent tax returns and proof that I had as far as lease for rental property that she claimed zero income for two out of three years, the judge’s comment was she is not the IRS; therefore allowing felony fraud to be committed in her courtroom and participating in a conspiracy to commit felony fraud.

Dear Exposing Corruption,

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Venn Crawford

This year, Dwight and Carolyn have embarked on a new adventure – vegetable gardening. Far from any farmland, the dynamic duo has set up shop on their two balconies, where they’re growing shishito peppers and tomatoes.

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What are Shishito Peppers?

Shishito peppers are a mild Asian variety of pepper. When sautéed, they make for a delicious, healthy appetizer. As a result, they’re quickly gaining popularity with vegetable gardeners and foodies alike.

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Carolyn Woodruff

Dear Carolyn,

I am married for the second time. My first husband, who I divorced, was physically and verbally abusive. I got out. The problem is I am right back in a miserable, abusive relationship—although quite different. This second husband (and might I add my last husband) is quite controlling on most every aspect of my life. He controls all the money, and I am given an allowance as a child. I dated him for two years, and I did not pick up on this for some reason. What insight do you have that might help?

– Poor picker of husbands

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Carolyn Woodruff

Today’s Ask Carolyn answers two questions about summer vacation. Our first reader wants to know what the ground rules should be for a multi-generational beach trip. Our second reader is taking the family cat for a sail.

Dear Carolyn,

I just turned in the dates for my summer vacation weeks with my sons (ages 6 and 9) to my ex. In even years I pick first by May 1. I get three total summer weeks split as two weeks and one week. Week isn’t defined, but that is another story for another day and a source of arguments. I picked Saturday to Saturday because of my beach rental for the one-week session. My two boys and I are camping in the Rockies the two-week time. Now for my questions regarding the one-week time, which I would like to do with my parents, the paternal grandparents of my children:

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Carolyn Woodruff

Dear Carolyn,

I am a 35-year-old woman with two small children (a daughter and a son), a puppy, and a cat. I am now separated. My “ex-husband” kicks and tortures the puppy, and I do not know why. The puppy cries and then the children, who witness the violence, cry.  It is a mess. The cat usually manages to get away.  Then my “ex-husband” yells at the kids and hits them too. I am so glad he is gone, but I worry about this monster I was married to. I worry about how he will treat our children when I am not around, especially when he is drinking.  Now he wants visitation with the puppy and the children. What can I do?

– Tortured

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Carolyn Woodruff

Today’s Ask Carolyn includes the questions about broken separation agreements that I answered Tuesday, as well as an additional question about grandparent visitation.

Dear Carolyn,

My grandson is 7, and a tragedy has occurred. His mother (my daughter) died in a car accident. My grandson lived with me for the first year of his life while his father and my daughter were stationed active military in another country.  I kept a consistent relationship with my grandson until recently. His father has remarried and moved. The stepmother has just concluded an adoption. The father and new stepmom are not allowing me to visit. Can I get visitation? I have called, sent gifts and I have tried everything I know. What can I do?

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Carolyn Woodruff
Dear Carolyn,

I live in Raleigh, NC and was divorced in 2009. Our separation agreement (signed and notarized) states that each parent is to pay one-half of all college expenses. My son is now 18 and daughter 16. My ex is now balking at paying one-fifth of the college expenses for my son. What remedy do I have?

Carolyn Answers…
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Carolyn Woodruff
Dear Carolyn, 

I am divorcing, and I have three children. I want joint custody. I expect to have half the time, and I think the mother will agree. While I know we need to have the schedule of when the children will be with each parent, I am looking for a checklist of considerations other than the schedule itself. What should my concerns be?

– Father of Three