Child custody is often the most fought over divorce issue. There’s good reason for this, too. The outcome of a child custody dispute can affect your relationship with your child, and it can even affect your child’s safety and wellbeing. Therefore, if you want to protect your child and/or your relationship with him or her, then you need to be prepared to present evidence that supports why your proposed child custody arrangement is best for your child.
While the focus is always on your child in these matters, there’s often an inherent need to establish parental shortcomings of some sort. This might come from showing parental substance abuse. You might think that this sounds easy enough to do, but to strengthen your case you should try to show how exposure to parental substance abuse is detrimental to your child.
Parental substance abuse can have a massive impact on your child. Amongst other things, it can cause:
- The forced acceptance of parental responsibilities when the parent becomes unable to perform them
- Behavioral disruptions
- Problems in school
- Physical manifestations of stress
- An increased risk of abuse and neglect
In other words, there’s a lot at stake when your child is exposed to parental substance abuse. Thus, seeking a child custody modification may become necessary.
Obtaining an appropriate child custody order isn’t automatic, though, and it’s not going to occur based on what you know but can’t prove. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have evidence and strong legal arguments to support your position. This might be developed through witness testimony or documentary evidence, such as criminal records.
Developing legal strategies isn’t easy, especially when dealing with emotionally-charged issues like child custody. The good news is that you don’t have to face these issues alone. Instead, you can have a competent attorney stand by your side to negotiate and/or litigate for an outcome that is best for you and your child.