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Can a history of substance abuse impact your custody case?

 Posted on August 22, 2022 in Child Custody

Whether it is related to alcohol or hard drugs, substance abuse can adversely impact the whole family, especially minor children. This is especially true when parents are divorced and are in a shared custody arrangement where the parent with a substance abuse problem has a right to their share of custody and/or parenting time.

Since the court makes custody ruling on the basis of the child’s best interest, it goes without saying that substance abuse can greatly impact the outcome of your custody case. At a basic level, a parent’s substance abuse can affect the child’s safety and wellbeing. Consequently, the court may impose the following conditions on a parent who using drugs while ruling on custody and parenting time:

Supervised parenting time

In Illinois, the family court can put restrictions on parental access to protect the child’s best interest. Depending on the circumstances, the court may direct a court-appointed supervisor or someone from the children’s welfare to be present while the non-custodial parent is having time with their child. The court may also specify where the parent in question will be meeting the child.

Drug treatment and support meetings

The court may order the parent with an addiction problem to attend support classes or seek rehabilitation before allowing them to see the child. Failure to follow through with this requirement may lead to restriction of parental time or complete revocation of parenting rights.

Random drug screening

Sometimes, the court may direct the parent with a drug problem to undergo random screening upon request from the other parent. However, the court will only order this if there is sufficient evidence of drug abuse.

Every child has a right to a healthy relationship with both parents. However, substance abuse can impact the outcome of your custody and parenting time case.

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