If you are in the process of a divorce and your partner is an addict, you may have to decide between child custody and addiction. Addiction and child custody are often linked. Addiction can severely affect a parent's ability to provide a stable home for their children. Addiction and child custody are two of the most challenging aspects of a divorce. While addiction is a difficult problem to address, it isn't impossible to overcome.
In some cases, the court will decide to allow visitation and access to a parent who is struggling with addiction. If the court finds that the parent is unable or unwilling to take care of the children, it will modify or expand access. The court will look at the treatment a parent receives, whether or not it is effective, and the wishes of the child. Even if one parent is not able to take care of the children, the court will likely consider the parent's progress toward sobriety as a way to protect the children.
If a parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, the court may require the other parent to undergo drug and alcohol testing to assess if their behavior is detrimental to the children. If the substance abuser does not complete treatment, it may be a good idea to seek professional help and seek an evaluation from a family law attorney. The judge may also order periodic tests, so a parent who tests positive will most likely lose custody and face supervised visitation. Learn more about rehabs at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rehabilitation.
Whether or not substance abuse affects a parent's ability to raise a child is a complex and emotional issue. Substance abuse and child custody do not go together harmoniously. However, if the drug-addicted parent shows that their addiction is detrimental to the child's health, then the court may be inclined to grant visitation to them. That means that a parent who has lost custody may have to give up visitation rights to their children. See helpful resources for more info!
In highly contested custody cases, a parent can try to bring up negative factors about the other parent. While the other parent may have legitimate concerns about the other parent's ability to provide a stable environment for their children, an exaggerated substance abuse charge may make the situation more complicated. An overbearing parent might lie about the substance abuse and child custody issues are likely to result. If the other parent lies about their addiction, the child's future may be at risk.
Considering that substance abuse and addiction can severely hinder a parent's ability to parent, child custody and addiction can be complicated. It's crucial to prepare yourself for the difficult process that follows. Regardless of the state you reside in, the court will likely consider substance abuse and addiction as a factor when determining custody and parenting plans. Moreover, California law permits courts to order drug and alcohol testing for the parents. When the substance abuse or addiction affects the parenting capacity of a parent, a court will be likely to order drug testing at this link.