While divorce proves complicated enough on its own, a marital split in which a parent has an addiction adds unique complexities. How should divorcing parents in this situation handle child custody?
Vertava Health offers insights on what divorcing parents should expect when substance abuse intersects with child custody. Learn how to navigate divorce and recovery with grace.
Child custody during drug treatment
If one parent receives inpatient drug treatment during the divorce, the non-addicted parent or a family member often retains custody of the shared child. Parents worried about losing custody while completing treatment should know that getting help for their addiction may not disqualify them for future visits with their child or void their parental rights.
Child custody after drug treatment
After finishing an inpatient drug treatment, a parent struggling with substance abuse has a chance to receive full child custody. Those who lost all parental rights before or during treatment may have the chance to earn them back through hard work. This could involve showing a judge proof of completing substance abuse treatment and submitting to random drug tests. How long it takes to show a court that a parent has what it takes to regain custody varies. Judges consider the level and type of substance abuse the parent struggles with, as illicit substances come with unique risks. Judges must understand how different substances open the door to additional dangers for young children. Decisions also depend on state and local law and the overall severity of the substance abuse.
Parents wrestling with substance abuse must not give up the fight for child custody. Helping themselves undoubtedly helps their children.