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Contact Us For A FREE CONSULTATION
WITH THE ATTORNEY
Evening/Weekend Appointments Available
407-495-2399

How a History of Drug or Alcohol Abuse Could Affect a Custody Order

Divorce can be an emotionally charged journey, and when children are involved, the stakes are undeniably higher. Custody battles add another layer of complexity to an already challenging situation. One significant factor that can heavily influence custody decisions is a parent’s history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Courts will not automatically deny custody to parents with a history of drug or alcohol abuse. Instead, they carefully evaluate the circumstances surrounding the substance abuse and its impact on the child. Rehabilitation efforts, documented proof of recovery and engagement in therapy or support groups can positively influence the court’s perception and decision-making.

The family court system places the child’s best interests at the forefront of custody decisions, so substance abuse issues raise red flags as they can jeopardize a parent’s ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the son or daughter. Courts will assess the impact of drug or alcohol abuse on a parent’s ability to meet the physical, emotional and developmental needs of the child. For example, if a parent has a history of driving under the influence with the child in the car or exposing the child to harmful situations due to their substance abuse, it can significantly weigh against them in custody decisions.

Consistency is a key factor in child custody cases, and a history of drug or alcohol abuse may raise concerns about a parent’s ability to maintain a stable and predictable environment for the child. Unpredictable behavior, financial instability resulting from the substance abuse issues and a lack of reliable support systems can contribute to an unfavorable view of a parent’s home environment.

In some cases, courts may order drug or alcohol testing, counseling or supervised visitation to ensure the child’s safety while maintaining the parent-child relationship. The willingness of the parent to actively address and overcome their substance abuse issues is also a pivotal factor in the court’s determination of custody arrangements.

Timothy W. Terry, Attorney at Law, is a family law firm that handles cases involving child custody matters. Take the first step toward securing a brighter future for you and your child by reaching out today, either by calling 407-495-2399 or contacting me online.

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