It has fallen to the Courts and Child Protective Agencies such as the Illinois Department of Family Services to attempt to protect the minor children which is extremely critical especially when they are very young. I have written before about custody and how to detect if your spouse or partner has a substance abuse problem but once you know, what can the courts or agencies do?
We have all seen the horrible images of parents passed out in the front seats of their cars with small children in the backseat. But what can the courts do?
1. If both parents are afflicted or a solo parent has got the issue, they can order that the child be primarily cared for by a grandparent. Foster care is also an option but that should be the last resort. If the other parent does not have a drug problem, that parent will obviously be granted all of the time with the minor child with supervised parenting time only with the afflicted parent once he or she shows they are drug free.
2. They can order that the afflicted parent undergo rehabilitation. Once he or she has been drug free for a certain period of time, then and only then will that parent be allowed to be have parenting time with the minor child which may eventually become unsupervised.
Besides being able to see the minor child, when if ever will the afflicted parent be allowed to parent that child. When will he or she be able to have that small child live with him or her again and take care of that child exclusively?
The Court has to be convinced that that parent is truly drug free which in my opinion should probably be for a period far in excess of 30 days.
The best interest of the minor child is paramount. If you are going through a divorce or custody battle and there is a substance abuse issue, consult a legal professional. Learn your rights and the best way to proceed to protect the minor child or children.