Stress can be extremely overwhelming during these times. And, unfortunately, some individuals can turn to drugs or alcohol as a form of “escape.” For others, they may have been a drug user in the pasted. They might have used drugs casually with the knowledge of their spouse or significant other. When the relationship was still intact, the drug use might not have been a major source of dispute between the parties. In some instances, parties may have even casually used drugs together.
Frequent drug use in front of a child is never a good thing, in any way, shape, or form. All research points to this being harmful to children. No matter what, a failed drug test in the midst of a custody case will sink it. If the parent who is abusing drugs wants frequent and meaningful contact with their children, a failed drug test can be fatal to the overall outcome. Even where both parties have used drugs in the past – but one party is currently passing drug tests while the other is failing – the results can be disastrous for the parent who does not presently test clean.
In many instances, a parent’s visitation might end up being supervised for a time until several clean drug tests are present. In some cases, where a parent continually fails drug tests, that parent could ultimately end up with only supervised visitation for the long-term. Importantly, that parent can also end up not being an equal decision maker in the lives of their children in terms of legal custody. In some cases where the drug use is extreme, parents can even have their parental rights terminated – and the children can end up in the custody of the state.
For all these reasons, it is critical that parents think long and hard before they even engage in casual drug use as a parent. At the end of the day, the interests of the children have to come first. While in the middle of a custody case and/or court proceedings, the drug use simply has to stop.