Addiction is a disease that impacts many families across the United States. For couples with children who are going through a divorce or who are already divorced, the topic of drug and alcohol abuse might come up in discussions of how the disease impacts parental fitness. Couples dealing with substance dependence may wonder if and how it can impact who has custody of their minor children.
How can addiction affect child custody in New York?
It can cause loss of custody
If a judge believes that a parent poses a danger to their children due to their substance abuse issues, this may cause the parent to lose custody of those children. Courts want to do what is in the best interest of the children, even if it means separating the minors from one of their parents for a while. Something like supervised visitation, however, may still be an option in these cases.
Parents can regain custody
There is reason to still be hopeful after a parent goes through something as painful as losing custody of their child. For example, when a parent shows that they are willing to take steps to get help for their addiction, that can go a long way toward showing that they are on their way to being a fit and capable parent again in the eyes of the legal system.
When parents and loved ones are aware of how addiction can affect child custody, they can make better decisions regarding seeking help and keeping the child’s best interests at heart.