The Midwest, and America as a whole, is still in the throes of a drug epidemic. While positions on marijuana use have relaxed, the use of harder drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin are becoming more common. Sadly, many of those who struggle with drug addiction act as custodial parents. In these situations, children can be put in harm’s way, and the state may intervene to ensure that they’re well-being is protected. Before it gets to that point, though, noncustodial parents may want to seek custody through a court order establishing custody or a court order that modifies an existing order.
There are a number of reasons why doing so is of critical importance. Studies have shown that children who live in households where parental substance abuse is common find themselves amongst chaos and unpredictability. Confusion, insecurity, and self-blame are common amongst these children, primarily because they believe that they’re actions can stop substance abuse. These children are also at-risk of being physically and sexually abused, as well as witnessing domestic violence.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Children who come from these homes can suffer socially because they fear to interact with their peers out of fear of their parent’s addiction being discovered. The stressors found in their home can cause them to struggle in school. Their negative behaviors may increase, too. These children may develop attachment issues and a sense of shame.
So, to put it mildly, parental substance abuse can completely upend a child’s life. This is why it often becomes a focal point of child custody disputes. In these instances, though, mere allegations isn’t enough. Instead, those confronting these matters need to have evidence and compelling legal arguments to support their position. This is where the assistance of a skilled family law attorney may prove beneficial.