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Co-Parenting And Substance Abuse


The good news is that the social stigma against mental illnesses, including substance use disorder, is considerably less than it was a generation ago.  Pretrial diversion problems acknowledge that incarcerating people for nonviolent drug offenses makes it harder, not easier, for them to achieve long term sobriety, and that ordering addiction treatment instead of jail benefits defendants as well as their families.  Young adults on social media share pieces of wisdom they have heard from their mental health counselors.  The fact that celebrities have been candid about their sobriety milestones and their relapses have helped people struggling with addictions, as well as their families, understand and explain that addiction recovery is a process.  This does not change the fact that children are at much higher risk of accidental injury when in the care of a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs than when they are in the care of a sober person.  If addiction has ruined your marriage and strained your relationship with your children, your doctors, counselors, and peers can help you stay sober, and a Palm Beach County child custody lawyer can help you achieve a parenting plan that encourages a healthy, stable relationship with your children.

How Relevant Is Your History of Prescription Drug Abuse to Your Child Custody Case?

Joseph and Camilla divorced when their daughter was three, and their parenting plan, where they shared parenting time equally, worked well until the child was six years old.  Joseph sought to suspend Camilla’s parenting time entirely after she suffered a relapse of prescription drug abuse and fell asleep while driving across a bridge while the child was in the car.  The court granted his request, giving Camilla a few days of supervised parenting time per month.  Camilla’s efforts to restore her parenting time to the 182 days per year that she had previously had resulted in a three-year legal battle.

The judges of the appeals court disagreed on the role that Camilla’s medical records should play in determining how much parenting time Camilla should have.  One judge noted that the fact that years had gone by without Camilla having a stable relationship with her daughter was detrimental to both mother and child.  Meanwhile, another judge noted that witness testimony from Camilla’s boyfriend, nanny, tenants, and doctors indicated that she had abused prescription drugs in the child’s presence numerous times, and the child would not have been safe in these situations if Camilla had been the only adult present.  This judge also noted that Camilla’s son from a previous marriage had been through a similar situation as a child, with his mother’s addiction relapses requiring frequent changes to the parenting plan.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

Rebuilding your relationship with your children after receiving addiction treatment is one of life’s great challenges, but a Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you navigate the legal aspects of the process.  Contact Schwartz | White for help today.



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