When you got married, you may have thought that you knew your spouse inside and out. You possibly could finish each other’s sentences, anticipate the other’s needs and generally felt in tune. Unfortunately, you later found out that your spouse had secrets, and one of those secrets may have been a substance abuse issue.
Whether the issue existed before you got married and only came to light later or developed after you tied the knot, discovering this information likely took a toll on your relationship. You likely tried to be understanding at first and get your spouse help, but your spouse was not willing to seek help. As a result, his or her behavior put you and your children in a position that you did not consider safe. Now, you are pursuing a divorce.
You undoubtedly have a great deal of concern over whether your spouse could obtain even partial custody of your children. Though you may understand that your spouse loves your kids, you do not feel that it would be safe for them to be around him or her alone. Depending on the exact nature of your concerns, you may be able to seek a specific custody arrangement from the court during your custody proceedings.
What could happen?
First, if you want the court to rule in your favor when it comes to a custody order, you will need to have evidence to support your claim that your spouse has a substance abuse problem. The court will not rely solely on your word and will conduct an investigation to determine the following details:
- Whether your spouse truly has an addiction or substance abuse problem
- Whether that problem affects his or her ability to provide appropriate care for the children
- Whether it would be in the best interests of the children to be removed from that parent’s care
Custody cases are challenging as Colorado courts want both parents to stay a part of the kids’ lives. However, if the possibility of harm or neglect is present, the court will take those details into consideration. Depending on the exact circumstances, a judge could determine that you should have sole custody while the other parent has supervised visitation only. These arrangements could be revisited later if the judge places stipulations on the order that could allow the other parent to receive unsupervised visits, such as going through a rehabilitation program.