Located and practicing in Martinsburg and throughout Eastern West Virginia
Located and practicing in Martinsburg and throughout Eastern West Virginia

Drugs and divorce: Will your ex still have custody?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2021 | Divorce

Sometimes, people make decisions that they shouldn’t. A parent might develop an addiction to opioids or start drinking too heavily, especially during a stressful time like a divorce or separation, which may result in that parent ignoring their financial and family-related responsibilities.

If you are divorcing your spouse because they are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you are not alone. There are many people who go through this situation and have tough decisions to make. The focus is usually protecting the children from a potentially harmful situation, but is that really possible to do? Will you be able to obtain the majority of custodial time and even limit the other parent’s involvement while they are using?

Parents can lose custody over substance abuse issues

It is possible for parents to lose custodial time and/or decision-making authority due using and abusing substances, if that use affects their ability to properly parent the children.  It is also possible for the court to place parameters on that parent’s contact with the children such as supervised visitation, no overnight visitation, requiring drug and/or alcohol screening before exercising parenting time.

The reality is that every situation is different, so there is no way to guarantee that you’ll be able to completely protect your children from the other parent’s negative choices, life style and substance abuse.  However, you can petition the court to order protective measures and limits on that contact in order to try to protect the children from that parent’s poor judgment.

One of those protective measures is to ask for supervised visitation. You may ask that there is always another person there with your children when they see the other parent. You could go as far as to make the meeting happen in a court-approved location, such as a third-party visitation center, or you could ask that visitation occurs in your or the other parent’s home with extra supervision by friends or family. Another option is to seek therapeutic visitation, which occurs between the child and parent in the presence of a therapist or counselor and is utilized when there has been some sort of maltreatment or deterioration of the parent/child relationship.

If any of these situations apply to your loved ones, it is best to consult with an attorney that is experienced in family law and has experience dealing with cases involving substance abuse.  Here at Scales Law Office, we routinely handle family law cases that involved one or more of the parties battling substance abuse and can help you get the protections you desire to keep your children safe and sound.  Contact the office today to schedule your appointment.