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Substance Abuse and Family Law in Texas

Walters Gilbreath, PLLC in Houston, Dallas & Austin

Substance abuse is one of the most common causes of family destruction, marital unhappiness, and worse. A person with a serious substance abuse problem is rarely able to function effectively in a marriage or as a parent. They often have problems putting anything ahead of the drug-of-choice, whether it be their children, their marriage or their finances.

The result is usually catastrophic – divorce, custody battles, and sometimes even injury or death.

When faced with a spouse or co-parent that has a substance abuse problem, the only way to ensure your safety and that of your kids is usually to get into the court system. Our judges here take the problem serious, and are well-versed in the subject.

If you are the one with the substance abuse problem, then getting yourself healed should be your first priority. There are a large number of resources to help out, but the most important factor in getting sober is your determination to do so.

Enabling Behavior & Family Law Consequences

Our Texas family lawyers have found that for every substance abuser there is also (at least) one enabler. The enabling behavior allows the addict to continue to be an addict. Once the enabling stop, the addict is forced to make hard choices (such as getting drunk vs. spending time with their child). The addict does NOT like this, and the result is often threats, violence and/or manipulative behavior. The former enabler has to be really strong at this time not to give in.

Often the substance abuser will deny that they have a problem. This is especially common when the drug-of-choice is legal, such as alcohol or prescription medication. It can be difficult to prove the abuse because the spouse/enabler is often the only witness. Proving prescription drug abuse is easier because normally the abuser is getting multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors who are not aware of each other. A lawyer will just subpoena all the doctors with their records and the truth comes out in the courtroom.

It is also fairly common for both parents/spouses to have substance abuse problems. Often one has a more severe problem, or one has stopped using recently, while the other continues using.

Testing is often the only way to be sure what is going on. Again, this can be difficult when the problem is with a legal drug, especially prescription medication. But it can be done and has gotten more sophisticated over the years.

Children & Substance Abuse

It is important for a parent to protect their children from a substance abuser, even if the child has a close relationship with the abuser. If a firm stance is taken and the abuser is given the choice of their drug or their child, most abusers will sober up and choose their child. In that case, your child is protected. If the abuser chooses their drug, then it is best that this parent have little or no contact with the child anyway.

Walters Gilbreath, PLLC has handled many substance abuse cases over the years. They are often very complex and difficult but the courts will protect you and your children from an abuser. If you are living with a substance abuser, you are in a weird world that seems normal at times. Once you and your children escape the world of the abuser, you will be amazed how much happier your life becomes. It is like walking out of a dark room and into the sunshine.

Schedule a consultation with a dedicated member of our team by filling out the online form or calling (844) 451-1220.

  • Brain Walters and Jake Gilbreath both worked on my divorce case which resulted in a very favorable outcome. I recommend Brian and Jake since they are both very experienced and knowledgeable. Questions asked were almost always answered the same day. I highly recommend this law firm.

    - Michael V.

  • Brian and Jake listened carefully to my situation. They prepared all appropriate court documents and filed them the next day. Their staff was pleasant to deal with and very organized. Although I was under a great deal of stress from my spouse's emotional abuse, their prompt and appropriate legal ...

    - Cindy

  • Great law firm. Very professional. They fought for me and my son. I am pleased with my case. I will highly recommend this law firm. Thank you.

    - Ogechi

  • Mr. Walters has been a lifesaver for me. My ex-wife kidnapped my children and the police would not help me recover them using my custody order. I contacted Brian and we were in front of a judge the next day and my children were returned within hours after that. The proceeding family court case that ...

    - William I.

  • Jim is an exceptional attorney with his client's upmost interest at heart. From the beginning, through the time he brought my case to closure, Jim displayed such care and attention to detail. He will shephard you through a very difficult and emotional process with nothing but grace, compassion and ...

    - Shannon

  • Jake Gilbreath has been extremely helpful and impactful in my recent divorce proceedings. Initially my divorce was amicable, but degraded quickly with legal wrangling on the part of my wife's counsel. Immediately after Jake was engaged, things snapped back to a realistic agenda and a prompt ...

    - David P.

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