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How Does Substance Abuse Affect Child Custody

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2020 | Child Custody and Visitation

How does alcohol or substance abuse affect child custody and parenting time?  For Carlsbad and North County San Diego parents who have separated or divorced and have custody of their children, one issue that might become a concern is the other parent’s alcohol or drug abuse. When this is the case, parents might seek to protect their children from the parent who is abusing drugs or alcohol and there are certain things they can do to try to ensure the minimum impact on their children.

The first thing is to make the court aware of the other parent’s substance abuse. This can be done by notifying the court directly or by reporting the abuse to their local child protective services agency. At the same time, the reporting parent should be gathering evidence that shows the behavior of the other parent when abusing substances and any impact or effects this had had on the children.

The Court will get involved in matters of parental substance abuse if it becomes dangerous for the children or impedes the parent from taking care of the children. The court initiate an investigation into the matter, taking into account the child’s best interest as well as current and past instances of parental substance abuse and behavior.

The court might then choose to modify the standing child custody and parenting time orders. The Judge may consider either assigning supervised, controlled visitation or even suspending it until the non-custodial parent enrolls in a substance abuse rehabilitation program.

The custodial parent can also refuse visitation and seek a restraining order if they genuinely believe (and can ultimately prove) that the child’s life is at danger.

Are you wondering how if alcoholism and/or substance abuse affect child custody and parenting time orders?  Seek the guidance of an experienced Burke & Domercq family law attorney who has experience with these types of matters. Our attorneys could help with filing the appropriate documents with the court and gathering evidence to support your case.

Protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.