Does Substance Abuse Really Affect Custody Battles in New Jersey?
Substance abuse has risen considerably since the beginning of the pandemic, and the number of addicts in the United States is likely now much higher than statistics published in 2019. These statistics showed that almost 20 million American adults were struggling with substance abuse disorder, and this accounts for 7.7% of the US population. Substance abuse can affect many aspects of our society, but it has perhaps the greatest effect on families. In some cases, substance abuse can lead to divorces, and it can certainly affect the well-being of children.
Can substance abuse affect a custody battle in New Jersey? This is a question many spouses ask themselves as they approach a divorce. If you have suffered from substance abuse, you might be wondering whether this will affect your chances of spending time with your children after the divorce. If your spouse was the one who struggled with substance abuse, you might be concerned about leaving your children alone with them.
In order to deal with this challenging situation, you will need to get in touch with a family law attorney in New Jersey. Our legal professionals can assess your unique situation and provide personalized advice. We can then guide you forward and help you strive for the best possible outcome.
The Child’s Best Interests
The first thing you need to know about this situation is that all decisions on child custody matters are made in the context of the child’s best interests. If a judge believes that a certain course of action will affect a child’s interests in a negative manner, they will search for an alternative solution. But if certain actions have no notable effect on a child’s interests whatsoever, it will not be seen as an important factor.
This is something you need to keep in mind when dealing with issues related to substance abuse. The judge will not necessarily consider whether the parent has a substance abuse issue, but rather whether that issue affects the children negatively in any way.
Here are some specific factors a judge may examine:
- Whether the parent has consumed alcohol or taken drugs in the presence of the children
- Whether the substance abuse issue prevents the parents from taking care of the children
- Whether the children have seen the parent in a heavily intoxicated state
- Whether the drugs or alcohol are left out in the open, perhaps becoming accessible to the children
- Whether the parent is getting therapy or rehab treatment for their addiction issues
In other words, a substance abuse issue does not automatically mean that a parent will be unable to see their children following a divorce. It must be established that this issue negatively affects the child’s interests in some way.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching for a qualified family law attorney in the New Jersey area, look no further than Giro, LLP, Attorneys at Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous parents strive for the best possible results as they approach divorces and custody battles. We understand that substance abuse issues can pose serious issues as you pursue a safe outcome that serves the best interests of your children. Book your consultation today to explore your legal options in greater depth.