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Ways your addiction can impact your custody rights

One of the repercussions of addiction to drugs and alcohol is the collateral damage the addict or alcoholic inflicts on so many other people besides themselves. Certainly, the alcoholic’s or addict’s children suffer many different adverse effects as a result of interactions with their parent who is actively using.

At a certain point, your custody rights could be severely restricted or even permanently severed due to your lack of sobriety. What, exactly, are your options?

Getting sober is always best

Your child’s other parent has every right to insist that you are not intoxicated or impaired by drugs during your time with the children. So many things can go wrong, like a young child drowning in a bathtub due to a lack of supervision to a teenager being assaulted by a sketchy associate in the addict parent’s home.

Who will keep my kids while I’m in rehab?

This, ironically, is one reason why alcoholics and addicts frequently resist in-patient detox and rehabilitative therapy. They know that someone else will take over the care and custody of their children for the duration of their treatment and they likely have well-founded fears that it will be an uphill battle to get them back.

There is no way to sugarcoat this — your custody of your children will be at risk. But make no mistake, as your rights are even more at risk while you continue to drink and drug.

Courts look favorably on rehab participants

Particularly when the decision to get sober was self-initiated rather than court-ordered, the family law courts here in Michigan look favorably upon the parent who realizes the severity of their problem and seeks positive changes.

All decisions handed down in family law court are made with the best interests of the child in mind. That means being actively involved in both parents’ lives as long as the parents are actively involved in their recovery and maintaining their sobriety.

Your support system includes your family law attorney

Once you confront your addiction head-on, your family law attorney can become an active and vital component of your sobriety support system. They can advocate on your behalf to leave all custody changes as temporary pending your successful completion in a treatment program and participation in ongoing recovery meetings.

They can also insist that you be able to maintain meaningful ties at distance or remotely during your in-patient treatment so that you remain a major part of your child’s life.

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