Here is an unfortunate truth: drug addiction can affect anyone. When a parent becomes addicted to drugs, caring for a child safely and adequately may become impossible.
Substance abuse impacts a parent’s ability to care for themselves as well as their child. If you have concerns about your co-parent’s drug and/or alcohol issues, you’ll need to figure out how to protect your child’s best interests.
What do you do if your co-parent is abusing drugs?
Of course, you need to take your spouse’s substance abuse issue seriously. But you cannot unilaterally stop them from seeing your child. That would amount to interference with an existing custody order. And it can land you in trouble with the court.
You may petition for a custody modification
Before the court can order a drug test and consider modifying custody, you’ll need to provide evidence that your ex is indeed abusing drugs. This evidence may include police records, medical records, eyewitness accounts and social welfare reports that validate your claim.
Additionally, the court must establish evidence of chronic illegal or unsafe substance abuse rather than the mere use of controlled substances. Some of the evidence you can potentially present to prove habitual substance abuse include:
- Repeat DUI charges
- Records of admission into a drug rehabilitation facility
- Multiple illicit drug possession charges
Subject to court assessment, the parent in question may be granted restricted access to your child.
Protecting your child
Substance abuse can justify custody modification. If you have concerns about your ex’s drug problems, you‘ll need to take immediate steps to safeguard your child’s best interests. Speaking with a legal professional can help you get started.