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Custody conflict could result from substance abuse issues

On Behalf of | May 18, 2021 | child custody

Most California parents consider their children the most important parts of their lives. You are among these parents, and as a result, you are willing to do what you need to do to ensure your children are in safe environments. In your case, that may mean taking steps to limit the amount of time your children are around their other parent.

Whether you are currently going through a divorce or already have an existing custody order, you have concerns that your ex-spouse is not fit to have custody of your kids. This concern stems from the knowledge that the other parent has a drug or alcohol addiction that compromises his or her ability to care for the children.

How can you approach your case?

Whether you are going through custody proceedings for the first time or want to pursue a modification of an existing custody order, you will need to go through the court. To modify an existing order, you will need to submit a petition to the court and provide just cause for the modification to take place. Modifying orders is not easy, but if the judge believes your circumstances warrant a change, it is possible to successfully petition for an alteration.

In either scenario, you will also need to provide evidence that shows that your ex-spouse does have a substance abuse problem and that the problem has interfered with his or her abilities to provide care for your children. Evidence could come in the form of text messages or emails that are threatening in nature, testimony from friends or family who can attest to the other parent’s negligent or abusive behavior, or documentation of events that have placed your children in harm’s way.

The possible outcomes

The judge involved in your case will review the evidence and determine what type of arrangement or modification may suit the situation. It may be possible that the other parent has his or her visitation time severely limited or even limited to supervised visits only. However, the exact outcome of your case will hinge heavily on the unique circumstances of your ordeal.

If you believe that your children would fare better with limited contact with the other parent, you may want to start gaining information on your legal rights, how the court handles custody matters and what seeking a modification could entail if that suits your particular case.