Experience. Results. Compassion.

Substance abuse and its impact on child custody orders

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2020 | Child Custody & Parenting Time

You understand how important it is for children to maintain strong relationships with both parents. Whether you and the other parent were never married, or you divorced, you likely agree that it’s good for your kids to know they have two parents who care about them and support them. Your priority is that they are safe and secure in either parent’s home.

You may feel differently if you suspect the other parent of substance abuse of some kind. This is an issue that can directly impact the safety and well-being of your children, and this is why you may want to seek an adjustment to your current custody and visitation schedule. You may find it beneficial to seek legal guidance as you fight to protect the emotional and physical safety of your children.

Considerations for the court

It may be necessary to take your concerns to the court, seeking a modification to your custody order. The main goal of any family court is to protect the best interests of the child above all else, and there are several things a judge will look at before making the decision to strip a parent of his or her custody or visitation rights. The court may grant a modification if there is evidence that the substance abuse hinders the ability to properly care for or supervise the child.

The court takes into consideration the fitness of both parents, especially if one of the parents has a history of substance abuse. Depending on the nature of the substance abuse problem, the court may limit visitation time or restrict custody rights. During visitation, there may be a supervision requirement, and overnight stays may no longer be possible. The final choice depends largely on the details of the individual and unique situation.

Protecting your kids

There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of your children. If you are concerned about how the other parent could be placing them at risk because of a substance abuse problem, you do not have to keep these concerns to yourself. Even the suspicion of a potential issue is a valid reason to speak out.

You will find it beneficial to speak with a Colorado family law attorney about your options and how you can seek a custody and visitation order that is best for your kids. An assessment of your case can help you understand the specific options available to you.