The Court Can Set Conditions on Your Unsupervised Parenting Time
Whenever possible, the family court allows parents to spend their parenting time with their children as they wish. You should not have excessive restrictions on your choice of residence, work schedule, or leisure activities just because you are a divorced parent. When there is proof that the children are unsafe when they are alone with you, however, the court can order supervised parenting time, which means that another adult must always be present during your parenting time. Supervised or unsupervised, the court can make your parenting time contingent on your fulfillment of certain conditions. This usually happens when a parent has a history of substance use disorder, mental illness, or other chronic condition that can lead to unsafe situations for children. Having a chronic illness does not make you an unfit parent, but you do have a responsibility to keep your children safe. A Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you comply with the conditions of your parenting plan or modify it to make it less restrictive.
Cases Where the Courts Placed Conditions on the Parenting Plans of Parents Struggling With Addiction
In one case, a father was struggling with addiction to opioids and inhalants, leading to several dangerous situations with his children. On one occasion, he fell asleep in his car outside the children’s daycare after picking them up and remained asleep until the police arrived. On another, he got pulled over for drugged driving while the children were in the car. In the scariest incident of all, the father accidentally injured himself because he was handling a firearm while under the influence of drugs. The mother petitioned the court to suspend the father’s parenting time. To get it back, he had to undergo addiction treatment. He also had to move out of his father’s house, because his father was a heavy smoker, and the children were experiencing health problems because of the secondhand smoke.
In another case, the father expressed concern about the mother’s alcohol use. The parties proposed a parenting plan where they rotated weeks of parenting time. The mother had to use a breathalyzer device several times per day during her parenting time to prove that she was abstaining from alcohol while the children were with her. She had to start using the breathalyzer 12 hours before beginning her parenting time, because it is possible for the effects of alcohol to remain for many hours after a person has stopped drinking.
The conditions of parenting plans are always modifiable. If you are more stable than you were when the court imposed the restrictions on your parenting time, you can petition the court to remove the restrictions.
Contact Schwartz | White About Removing Restrictions on Your Parenting Time
A South Florida family law attorney can help you if you must follow strict rules during your parenting time because of past problems with drug or alcohol addiction. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.