Substance abuse can become the reason for a family’s separation. When a parent in Texas is dealing with substance abuse and is involved in a custody dispute, they might be concerned about being separated from their child. However, in many cases, the court wants to encourage both parents to be present in their child’s life, and if a parent can show that they are committed to providing a safe, healthy environment for their child, the court will often protect that parent’s parental rights if the safety of the child is ensured.
How does the court decide custody cases
Foremost, the court will want to protect the best interests of the child. In most cases, this means finding custody solutions that ensure both parents will be involved in raising their child. When making these decisions, courts look at a variety of factors, such as:
• The child’s age and their needs
• Each parent’s mental and physical health as well as their living environment
• The child’s physical and emotional health
• The way a child’s routine would be impacted by custody changes
• The child’s preference on where to live, depending on the child’s age
Substance abuse and custody
When a parent is seeking shared custody or unsupervised visitation and there is a question of substance abuse, the court will need to see proof that the parent has committed to positive changes and a healthy lifestyle that ensures the safety of the child. Proof can be provided in several ways, including submitting to random drug tests, entering a substance abuse rehabilitation program or even using technology to ensure commitment to sobriety.
Even parents who struggle with substance abuse have the right to continue their relationship with their child if they are not endangering the child’s physical and emotional health. Committing to making changes and showing proof of these changes can ensure that a parent’s custodial rights are enforced.