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Michael A. Johnson
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Steps to take if a parent is abusing drugs or alcohol

| May 8, 2017 | Child Custody |

Some Arizona parents who are going through a divorce might think their child could be in danger if the other parent abuses drugs or alcohol. They should mention these concerns at the custody hearing. Having documentation of the parent’s substance abuse as well as any evidence that it has a negative impact on the child will help support their case.

A parent may also become concerned about the other parent’s use of drugs or alcohol after a custody order has been issued. It may be necessary to try to get it modified if this is the case. If the child’s safety is at risk, the parent might deny visitation or get a restraining order against the other parent. A judge may decide that the parent with the substance abuse problem should get supervised visitation until a rehabilitation program has been completed.

A court aims to make a decision about child custody and visitation that is in the best interests of the child. This means that the court will consider issues such as past substance abuse as well as investigating any allegations to make certain they are accurate.

If a parent is genuinely concerned that the other parent is unfit, then a custody hearing may be the only way to resolve the issue. Parents in such a situation may want to share their concerns with their attorney. However, in other circumstances, parents may be able to work out an agreement that satisfies them both. Furthermore, even if one parent has primary physical custody, parents might still have joint legal custody. This means they both have input into decisions about major issues such as the child’s religion or education.

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