Parental substance abuse can play a key role in your child custody case, as it can be a catalyst for one party to seek modification of an existing child custody arrangement. But if you’re going to try to do that, then you need to be able to present compelling arguments as to why your suggested modification is in your child best interests.
How exposure to parental substance abuse harms children
Exposure to parental substance abuse can cause more wide-ranging damage to your child than you realize. As examples, here are some of the impacts that your child could experience:
- Heightened risk of abuse or neglect.
- Onset of behavioral issues.
- Decline in school performance.
- Social distancing.
- Sleeping issues.
- Excessive guilt.
- Poor self-esteem.
- Increased anxiety.
Again, these are just some of the ways that your child might be harmed by exposure to parental substance abuse. And these effects can be long-lasting, too. Therefore, now is the time to act to protect your child.
How do you gather evidence of parental substance abuse?
There are several places to look. Criminal records and police reports can be a great place to start, but there are also probably witnesses who have seen the other parent under the influence, maybe even at a time when they were responsible for caring for your child. A court may even order a substance abuse evaluation, or there may be drug screen results out there that can paint a clear picture. Just remember that this evidence always needs to be viewed in terms of how it impacts your child’s best interests.
Are you ready to seek a custody modification?
If so, then now is the time to get to get to work building your case. It’s helpful if you know how the law is going to apply to your set of circumstances, so make sure you educate yourself in that regard and surround yourself with any assistance that you might need.