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Child Custody and Substance Abuse

On Behalf of | May 14, 2017 | Custody

Today I will explore the many forms of substance abuse and how it can affect a Custody Battle.

First Question. Is your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend a substance abuser or addict?

Substance Abuse is most commonly associated with alcohol or drugs. I am now encountering more and more cases where the drug of choice is not alcohol but marijuana. It can also be associated with abuse of prescription medication such as overuse of pain killers or other drugs such as amphetamines. 

Ask yourself. Does he drink or smoke pot daily? Or even if he or she drinks only on the weekends, is he or she able to stop after one or two drinks? Has your spouse or partner been convicted of a DUI? Has their drinking interfered with their fulfilling major obligations at home or at work? Even if they have not been convicted of a DUI, has he or she been under the influence and still insisted on driving or putting themselves in danger in other ways such as unsafe sex?  

If your spouse or partner is a substance abuser? How can the courts protect your kids in a custody dispute?

1. You can insist on a random drug test.

2. If the test is positive, you can insist on a comprehensive drug or alcohol evaluation.

3. If that evaluation shows a serious problem, you can insist that the other parent undergo drug or alcohol rehabilitation.

4. Unless and until the other parent undergoes rehabilitation, you can request “supervised” parenting time.

If the other parent has a substance abuse problem, the most important thing is your child’s best interest. Take the issue seriously and demand that your attorney and the courts take it seriously as well.

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