Child custody may very well be the most important divorce legal issue you will face. The outcome can have a dramatic effect on your relationship with your child. If improperly handled, it can even put your child in harm’s way if your child’s other parent poses a threat to your child’s physical, emotional, or mental wellbeing. Although family courts can render decisions on child custody and visitation matters, they are operating solely on the information presented to them. This means that, in the event that you can’t negotiate a resolution, it is on you to present evidence that supports your position.
A court will always make child custody and visitations decisions based on what it believes is in the child’s best interests. This gives the court broad discretion to consider a wide array of issues. One that can have a profound impact on your child custody case is exposure to parental substance abuse.
Children are fragile, and exposure to parental substance abuse can put them at risk of serious harm. Amongst the risks associated with such exposure are:
- Development of anxiety, fear, and depression
- Increased risk of abuse and neglect
- Onset of shame
- Intake of parental responsibilities when a parent is unable to fulfill them
- Development of behavioral issues
- Failure in school performance
These are just to name a few.
If these risks worry you, then you need to make sure that you are putting evidence of parental substance abuse in front of a judge, if that’s an issue in your case. This means you’ll need to be aggressive in gathering evidence and presenting legal arguments. You shouldn’t worry about attacking the other parent. It’s not about them. It’s about your child. If you want help fighting for what is right for your kid, then consider consulting with a results-driven legal professional who knows how to make persuasive best interests arguments.