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How substance abuse allegations affect child custody

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2021 | Child Custody |

Going through a divorce in Maryland with children involved is often stressful. Unfortunately, knowing that your former spouse is dealing with a substance abuse problem only complicates matters. As a parent, you want what’s best for your children. With that in mind, here’s more information about how courts handle substance abuse issues during a divorce.

Getting the courts involved in substance abuse situations

It’s understandable to wonder when courts begin investigating allegations of substance abuse. In most cases, a court will respond to these allegations during child custody hearings. Courts can also get involved in these matters after receiving reports from other organizations like the Department of Child Protective Services. The next step is for an investigation to begin that determines if substance abuse affects a parent’s ability to raise their child.

How does substance abuse affect a child’s time with their parent?

After the court launches an investigation into allegations of substance abuse, it will act in the best interests and safety of a child. In some cases, the court will restrict a parent’s time with their children until they resolve their substance abuse problem. It’s also possible for the courts to have another party supervise visits between a child and the parent dealing with substance abuse issues. These visits may continue until a parent can prove to the court that they’re no longer abusing any substances.

An allegation of a parent dealing with substance abuse is something that courts take extremely seriously. To resolve this situation, courts often recommend that parents with substance use issues seek rehabilitation or counseling. When a parent’s substance abuse issue is under control, the court may order normal parental visits to resume.