There can be a lot of contributing factors to your contentious child custody dispute. In many of these instances, each parent thinks that they know what’s best for their child. Things are complicated even further by the fact that the court has a lot of leeway when it comes to making a child custody determination, primarily because the law is very broad in regard to what the court is allowed to take into consideration.
That said, there are some issues that may be dispositive in a given case.
The effects of exposure to parental substance abuse
One of those issues is parental substance abuse. If your child is exposed to drug use in a parent’s home, then he or she may experience the following negative reactions:
- Behavioral issues
- Poor school performance
- Increased risk of abuse and neglect
- Increased risk of drug use
- The taking on of parental responsibilities
Of course, any one of these impacts can be detrimental in the long run, and it can be hard to provide your child with the care and treatment that he or she needs once the damage has been done.
What can you do?
It’s imperative that you take immediate action if you suspect that your child is being exposed to parental substance abuse. This may mean gathering police and criminal records, mental health records, and witness accounts. You might have to be diligent here to ensure that you have concrete evidence of drug use and how it is affecting your child, which may even require testimony from your child, your child’s therapist, or some expert witness.
We know that dealing with these child custody issues can be enormously stressful. But don’t let your fears paralyze you into presenting anything less than the strongest case possible. After all, that’s what your child deserves. So, if you need help with your case, consider reaching out for legal assistance.