Can an Addiction Affect Child Custody?

Parents can lose custody if they have substance abuse issues. In addition, these issues can impact the parent’s ability to provide adequate food, shelter, and safety. Sadly, about 1 in 8 children live with at least one parent who suffers from addiction. Here is how this can affect child custody:

Why Does it Affect Custody?

When parents go to court for a child custody case, the court makes a decision based on what is in the child’s best interest. Unfortunately, the court often sees a parent with addiction unfit to provide a child with the things they need. Substance abuse can negatively affect food, shelter, and safety and cause academic and social issues.

Parental Outcomes of Substance Abuse

  1. Failure to fulfill parental, work, home, or schooling obligations.
  2. Putting oneself or children at risk of harm. For example, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  3. Substance-related legal problems such as possession of illegal substances.
  4. Continued substance use after experiencing recurring interpersonal or social issues.

When the court sees these types of problems with a parent, they are hesitant to grant them child custody. One of the most common reasons children enter the foster care system is due to neglect or abuse due to a parent with an alcohol or substance abuse problem. The court does not want to see more children displaced from their homes and uprooted from everything they know.

Oshkosh Family Law Attorneys

If you or a loved one is facing issues regarding child custody due to a substance-related problem, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. This is not an issue that you should fight alone. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 920-236-3838.