Substance Abuse Creates Custody Obstacles During Divorce

The abuse of alcohol or drugs- - including prescription medication - - is a leading cause of divorce. The abuser is rarely able to function effectively as a spouse or a parent, provoking the destruction of a marriage or family. If substance abuse is a factor in your divorce or child custody matter, turn to the Law Office of Michael D. Tracton, P.C., for guidance.

Addiction And Custody

When determining child custody and visitation, Texas courts prioritize the safety and welfare of the child. Substance abuse often hampers a parent's ability to care their child. A parent struggling with addiction may also make poor decisions regarding the well-being and safety of the child. If substance abuse is present or suspected and the parent's behavior poses a significant threat to the child, a judge may curtail a parent's access to the child.

Abuse Spans A Range Of Substances

A parent may face the loss of custody or visitation for using an array of substances, including:

  • Illicit substances: When either or both parents test positive for illegal drugs or have a pattern of drug use, a judge may enforce a graduated possession schedule or other restrictions to protect the child and create a safe and stable environment.
  • Alcohol use: Alcohol use is not illegal, but when abused, it can lead to escalated arguments, verbal abuse and physical altercations, making the home environment unsafe. A parent may be asked to abstain from drinking before spending time with the child. Courts also review the combined use of alcohol and certain medications that should not be used concurrently and may choose to limit access to the child when a parent ignores drug warnings.
  • Prescription medication: The abuse of prescription drugs, even if the parent has a prescription, can lead to limited visitation. Conversely, failing to follow a medication schedule for mental health medications such as antidepressants and antipsychotics is also problematic. A judge may decide to limit access to the child until a parent complies with their prescribed medication schedule.

Relief Is Within Reach

Our founding attorney, located in Sugar Land, has prosecuted and defended divorcing parents in child custody cases involving substance abuse allegations. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer, call 281-201-1481 or reach us by email.