Substance abuse continues to be a problem across our state and our country. While drug and alcohol use certainly has ramifications for those who are addicted, it can also have a profound impact on children who are exposed to it. If that concerns you because your child is subject to a child custody or visitation order that exposes him or her to substance abuse, then you need to know what you can do to keep your child safe. In many cases, this will mean gathering evidence of parental substance abuse and its effects on your child, as well as filing a motion to modify custody and parenting time.
How does parental substance abuse affect children?
A parent who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol can struggle to care for their children and meet their basic needs. But the effects of exposure to parental substance abuse are far more wide-ranging than that. Each of the following are very real outcomes that could befall your child if he or she is exposed to parental substance abuse:
- Increased risk of abuse and neglect
- Development of aggressive behavior
- Regressions in school performance
- Increased stress
- Onset of parental responsibilities when the parent is unable or unwilling to fulfill them
- Generation of anxiety and depression
- Increased risk of intentional or accidental substance use
Any one of these characteristics can cause severe and long-lasting consequences for your child. By gathering evidence of these impacts, which may come from school records, witness accounts, or even therapy reports, you can increase the likelihood that you will succeed on a custody modification.
Know how to navigate your case
Family law cases can be emotional, which oftentimes causes individuals to act in ways that might be a detriment to their case. They might also be so unfamiliar with the process that they simply don’t know how to argue their position in a persuasive way. That’s where a competent legal professional can step in to help. So, if you’re worried about your child’s safety and well-being, now is the time to speak to an advocate who can help you fight for what is right.