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Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Child Custody

By Sarah Jacobs, Esq.

Morristown Child Custody Lawyers and the Implications of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Morristown Child Custody Lawyers and the Implications of Drug and Alcohol AbuseSubstance abuse and addiction is an issue that many American families have to confront. While adults are free to make their own choices, when those adults are parents, drug and alcohol addiction can seriously affect their child custody rights, whether it be during a divorce or after in a post-divorce modification.

In today’s article, our Morristown child custody lawyers will discuss how a parent’s drug or alcohol addiction can affect their divorce and resulting child custody agreement, how it can affect child custody and visitation when there are multiple households, and how a parent recovering from drug or alcohol addiction may be able to reclaim their parental rights.

Substance Abuse and Divorce in Morris County

Whether a divorce is filed based on a fault-based ground due to one parent’s substance abuse issues, or if a divorce is filed as a no-fault divorce, the bottom line is the New Jersey family courts generally do not believe it is in a child’s best interests to spend unsupervised time with an addict parent (and at times the courts will not want the child spending time with the addict parent even if supervised, depending on the facts of the case). Since all child custody disputes are decided based on the perceived best interests of the children involved, the drug or alcohol addiction of a parent will play a significant role in any child custody decision.

While the addict parent most likely will not have their custody and visitation rights entirely revoked, they will almost certainly not be awarded nearly as much parenting time with their children as the other parent, and there are circumstances where an addict parent will not be granted legal custody rights of the children either.

If your co-parent is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, while you certainly will want them to seek the support and help that they need, until they do you may not want them influencing or endangering your children. Speak with our attorneys today regarding your options for securing a child custody agreement which accurately reflects your children’s best interests, and protects them from the addictive behaviors of your co-parent.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction, Child Custody Agreement Attorneys Madison NJ

Beyond a divorce, the drug or alcohol addiction of a parent can affect an already existing child custody agreement. For example, if a parent develops a drug or alcohol addiction after a divorce, the other parent may wish to file for a child custody modification based on this change in circumstance, and limit the addict parent’s parenting time and custody of the children.

Conversely, a parent whose custody and visitation rights were previously limited due to drug or alcohol abuse, and who is now taking steps towards recovery and sobriety, may wish to also file a child custody modification and re-secure their parental rights based on this change in circumstance.

Whether you are a parent concerned over a co-parent’s addiction, or a recovering addict seeking to spend more time with your children, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced child custody attorney in order to better understand your rights and options, and to help and guide you to a successful resolution of your child custody modification.

Contact Our Randolph Divorce and Child Custody Attorneys Today

At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients and families to fairly and creatively resolve family law matters of all kinds in towns across New Jersey and Morris County, including Morristown, Madison, Randolph, Dover, Denville, Florham Park, East Hanover and the surrounding communities.

Our unique approach to family law centers around using negotiation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution in order to protect the financial and emotional stability of the whole family. We aim to find solutions which are favorable for our clients, but do not leave a family’s finances in ruin or leave the family resenting one-another and unable to work as co-parents moving forward. Of course, should litigation become necessary, we have the experience and knowledge our clients need in order to provide them with tenacious and effective legal representation.

To speak with a member of our attorney team today in a strategic planning session regarding a parent’s substance abuse and how it may affect a divorce, child custody settlement, or child custody modification, or to speak with us regarding any other divorce or family law matter, please contact us online or through our Morristown office at (973) 710-4366.

Contact Our Morristown Attorneys Today

At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys are experienced in protecting our clients across Madison, Randolph, Tewksbury, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area in all family law-related issues.

To schedule a strategic planning session with one of our experienced team members regarding your particular case, please contact us online or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 354-4506.