Regardless of whether an addiction surfaces before or during a case, the addiction will significantly impact your case. It only takes one conviction—even one that occurred many years before the legal battle—to raise a red flag about one’s ability to provide a safe environment for their kids or to act responsibly.
In custody cases, concern about substance abuse is heightened, and according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “more than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems.” Once someone alleges alcohol or drug abuse, it is up to the judge to determine what possession, decision making, and safety protocols are appropriate. Parents with substance abuse issues are generally not given unrestricted access to their children unless they can show that they are in an ongoing recovery program, they’re monitored and/or frequently tested, and access is appropriate and in the best interest of the children. Often, mental health professionals will also assist in facilitating or assessing the relationships in the family.
If you are suffering from a drug or alcohol dependency issue and are in need of legal support, we can help. You may be afraid to reach out and ask for assistance, and you may feel alone in your struggle, but we have helped many people in your position. The stigma regarding needing help has been lifted, and courts want to see that parents are actively seeking the help they need. There are myriad assessments, treatments, and ongoing monitoring options for individuals and families that we can recommend based on your family’s situation.