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Handling complex divorce and family law cases in the Tampa Bay Area, including, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and New Port Richey
Handling complex divorce and family law cases in the Tampa Bay Area, including, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and New Port Richey

Addiction issues and custody

| Jul 21, 2021 | Parenting Agreements |

Florida residents who are struggling with substance abuse and addiction should be prepared to see their custody rights impacted while they work out their issues and make progress. However, they can take comfort in knowing that the intent of the court system is to allow them to maintain a relationship with their child in the interim.

Safety is a concern in these cases

The court acts first and foremost in the best interests of the child. In this case, a judge may be concerned about the child’s safety when the parent is in the throes of addiction. Therefore, some custodial time may be cut, or the court could require supervised visits. The court will look to balance safety with the relationship with the parent.

Proof of sobriety can only help

The parent struggling with addiction should renew their commitment to sobriety as part of the custody process. The court will usually want to see results and be able to monitor the situation. However, at some point, the judge may be willing to reduce supervision and allow the parent unrestricted access to the children. This will take some effort on the part of the parent. They should know that any barriers to unrestricted access are usually temporary. The court has no interest in permanently removing a parent from the child’s life because it goes against the principles of family law. In the meantime, the parent should build documentation that they are following the program.

If you are going through a divorce, and there are addiction issues, you need the advice of a family law attorney. This lawyer could help with parenting plans and child support. They could make suggestions about how to take steps to show the court that you are serious about sobriety to help your custody situation.