Substance Abuse and Its Impact on Child Custody
Most parents want what is best for their children. In a divorce, they may choose to share custody of the children so both parents are a part of the children’s’ lives. But what if the other parent neglects the child due to a substance abuse issue?
Courts have the best interests of the children in mind when making custody decisions. Therefore, allegations of drug or alcohol abuse by either parent will be taken seriously. The court may order drug or alcohol testing or even temporarily halt visitation rights until the addicted parent enters and completes a recovery program.
Before the Divorce is Finalized
While the divorce is still in process, one parent can maybe claim that the other parent has a substance abuse issue. In some cases, these allegations are false. One or both parents may be asked to submit to drug and alcohol tests.
There are many ways in which a person can be tested for recent drug or alcohol usage. Urine screens, nail tests, and hair tests are the ones most commonly used. Breath and blood tests may also be ordered by the court.
Any positive test results may negatively affect one’s ability to gain child custody. The other parent may have sole custody temporarily until the addicted parent is clean and sober. If the court does decide to allow visitations, supervision may be required. If the parent is accused of alcohol abuse, the parent may need to submit to regular alcohol monitor tests to determine ongoing alcohol abuse.
After Child Custody has Already Been Determined
If the parent already has custody and/or visitation, then the process is a little different. If the allegations can be proven, then the court may decide to keep the child away from the addicted parent. Visitation and custody agreements may be modified. If the parent still has some degree of visitation, then these sessions may be supervised by a family member or social worker to ensure the child’s safety. The visitations will likely be supervised until the parent completes a recovery program.
Learn More About Issues That Can Affect Child Custody
If you are concerned about your ex-spouse’s substance abuse, don’t keep quiet. If you have been accused of using drugs or alcohol around the children, you need to take action. It’s important to hang onto your legal rights and protect your children at the same time.
If you’re facing child custody issues, don’t handle them alone. The Ramage Law Group can help you understand your rights and inform you of your options. Contact The Ramage Law Group at (469) 207-1069 or (972) 562-9890 to schedule a consultation.