Child Custody For Parents With History Of Substance Abuse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmOne of the important grounds on which parents can lose custody battles is having a history of substance abuse. Parents who struggle with substance abuse often have a strained relationship with their children and it plays a major part in family court proceedings.  If a court finds a parent guilty of alcohol or drug abuse, it can affect custody.  In serious cases, Child  Protective Services (CPS) can also intervene and remove the children from the addict parent. In some cases, the parents are arrested and charged with child neglect.

Effect on custody

During a divorce proceeding, the California courts will determine different types of custody for the parents. The list includes physical, legal and joint custody. A parent who has had a history of drug abuse may find it difficult to win custody battles. If the court finds that the parent has done rehab and has stayed away from drugs for a long time, it may grant custody of the children to such a parent. If the parent is still involved in substance abuse, the court takes away the parents right over the children.

Custody disputes

California courts generally want parents to create custody agreements either on their own or through mediators. If parents are unable to come up with a custody agreement, the court steps in to resolve the matter. The very first thing that the court will look at before drawing a custody agreement is the welfare of the child. If the court finds that the children are not comfortable living with their parents, it will look into the family history of each parent. Special emphasis is put on sexual assault and drug abuse. If the court finds evidence of drug abuse in the family, it will consider it as part of custody dispute.

Effect on visitation

Parents who stay under the influence of alcohol and drugs may find it difficult to spend time with their children. Visiting hours are usually a common thing in custody and most parents are granted a certain amount of time that they can spend with their children. The court won’t usually grant visitation hours to parents with substance abuse history and even if it does, it will be a supervised visit.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Handling Substance Abuse In Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm Most people, not being able to handle a stressful situation, look for ways to forget about the things that have been troubling them. This usually leads them to alcohol and drugs which, despite being only a temporary refuge, cause them enough relief for a few moments to want to try them again and again. Before they’re even aware of it, they’re addicted to the feelings of relaxation that these things can bring. Thus starts a downward spiral towards alcohol and substance abuse and further depression.

Dealing with the pressure

Divorce – being one of the most stressful things that can happen to anyone in life – often leads to alcoholism. Change is never easy, but when it comes to ending a relationship, even after having taken vows to remain by each others’ sides forever, the pressure is too much for most people to handle. Marriages that lasted for many years, with children being a part of the equation, are decidedly more difficult to break off. In a lot of cases, the person involved has been exhibiting a trend of resorting to drugs or alcohol, even before things went downhill in his or her marriage. The condition of these people is likely to deteriorate even faster, as compared to someone who doesn’t have a prior history. It can lead to violence, and more often than not, it affects a lot of other people other than the ones involved directly.

Prior to an intervention

Before an intervention, consultations should be made with a substance abuse specialist in order to find out whether it is even necessary. Depending on the extent of abuse, lawyers should be contacted, in order to discuss any legal options. Weather it is about the person’s own drug issues or for his/her spouse, a lawyer may be able to suggest specialized treatment programs that are handled by courts. If treatment is being offered to the spouse, then an emergency hearing to talk about assets and child custody might have to be requested.

In order to request for drug tests, evidence of the spouse’s health condition will need to be presented to the court. Sometimes, the person requesting for the drug test may have to go through one as well, and also pay for both the tests. The policies may vary in different states, therefore it is always advisable to discuss with a lawyer and be completely aware of them before trying to present a case.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.

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