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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

How drug abuse impacts custody, visitation and parental rights

If you live in Texas and recently divorced a drug-abusing former spouse, you may have valid concerns about whether your former partner will continue to maintain a presence in your son or daughter’s life. At Laura Dale & Associates, P.C., we have a firm understanding of how parental substance abuse can impact custody, visitation and parental rights, and we have helped many clients who feared for their child’s safety find solutions and peace of mind.

According to LIVESTRONG, just how much a parent’s substance abuse will affect custody, visitation or parental rights tends to vary based on several factors. How long the parent has abused drugs, what types of drugs he or she abuses and whether the parent has a history of past drug abuse will all likely factor in to decisions regarding parenting.

If you notify a court about your child’s other parent abusing drugs, the court will typically cease visitation between the child and that parent until the parent can demonstrate long-term sobriety. In some cases, if the substance-abusing parent attends treatment and shows progress, the court may grant that parent supervised visitation for a given period.

As for whether a court will strip custody from a substance-abusing parent, this comes down to whether the court feels that doing so would be in the best interests of the child. Often, a parent who demonstrates drug-abusing tendencies is not in a position to provide care and protection over a minor child.

In more extreme, long-term cases, a drug-abusing parent may lose all parental rights as a result of his or her behavior. If your child is not receiving adequate care, or if there are signs of abuse or neglect, your child’s other parent may have his or her parental rights terminated. More about child custody issues is available on our web page.


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