What to Do If a Co-Parent is Abusing Drugs or Alcohol

Categories: Child Custody

Father Sits On Sofa With Children Smoking And Drinking

In New Jersey, courts always favor what is in the best interest of the child. So, when the courts hear allegations of substance abuse from one parent regarding another, they will vigorously investigate that allegation to ensure a child is never put in a harmful situation.

Whether you are filing for divorce or you are trying to modify your custody order, dealing with a spouse that has a substance abuse problem can pose unique issues that require the assistance of a family law attorney. An attorney can help you protect your child’s best interests, but also prove your case since the courts are notorious for scrutinizing allegations of drug or alcohol abuse.

Understanding the Law

If you claim one parent has a drug or alcohol abuse problem, the courts will refer to the physical and mental health clauses within the Family Law Statutes. These clauses consider the physical and mental capacity of the parent and determine whether or not they would pose a risk to the child’s well being if they were granted custody or even visitation.

Proving Your Claim

Telling a judge that your co-parent has a substance abuse problem is not enough. Instead, you will need to back up your allegations via the assistance of an attorney. A skilled family law attorney will consider all facts of the case, order additional tests, and if necessary, even employ a private investigator to find evidence that supports your claim. Some things you can do to prove there is a substance abuse problem includes:

*Ordering a toxicology panel via blood or hair

*Locating evidence of substance abuse or even looking for evidence in their home that indicates a drug or alcohol problem

*Submitting witness testimony

*Showing proof that the co-parent has abused alcohol or drugs in front of the child

It is important to realize that even with the right amount of proof, a parent could still be awarded visitation rights even if they have a substance abuse problem. They may be awarded supervised or limited visitation.

In the event that the co-parent is a recovering alcoholic or drug abuser, but has proof that they have successfully completed rehabilitation and are being proactive about staying drug or alcohol-free, they could be awarded custody.

Why You Need to Hire an Attorney

Drug addicts and alcoholics are master manipulators. They know how to hide their addictions and abuse problems, and they know how to dodge medical tests. An attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your claims and get the custody that is best for your child.

Contact the attorneys at Romanowski Law Offices today. We can discuss the circumstances of your case and we may be able to help you prove that the co-parent is abusing drug or alcohol. Call us today for a free consultation at 732-603-8585 or fill out an online contact form with your questions.