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Can Substance Abuse Affect Allocation of Parental Responsibilities?

 Posted on June 16, 2020 in Child Custody

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According to the Addiction Center, more than 90 percent of people who have an addiction started to use drugs or drink alcohol before they were 18 years old. Problems with drugs or alcohol may impact a person’s professional and personal life. Substance abuse is one of the most common reasons for divorce. Since substance abuse can affect many different aspects of a divorce proceeding, it is important to consult with a skilled family law attorney to ensure that parental rights and responsibilities are protected. In some cases, a spouse’s addiction may influence the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody). 

A Child’s Best Interest

Within the state of Illinois, the allocation of parental responsibilities is heavily based on a child’s best interest. Typically, both parents will split time with the child. However, if substance abuse plays a role in the child custody battle, the judge may determine that an arrangement of that nature would not be suitable for the child’s well-being. 

The court may mandate supervised visitation, meaning a staff member from the Department of Children and Family Services would monitor the visit. Additionally, the addicted parent may receive random substance abuse testing or be ordered to attend counseling for the child custody order to remain intact. If the parent is unable to pass the test or refuses to attend counseling, the order may be terminated, and the allocation of parental responsibilities will solely be rewarded to the child’s other parent.

Modifying a Custody Order

Once in effect, the reduction or termination cannot be changed unless by agreement between both parents or court order. Typically, this request cannot be made within two years of the determination unless the current order presents serious endangerment to the child’s physical, emotional, or mental health. 

Following the two-year rule, if a parent believes that he or she is suitable to reinstate his or her parental responsibilities, a change in behavior must be shown. This includes proof of completed counseling and/or absolute sobriety for a consistent period of time. Overall, the court must conclude that giving the individual parental responsibilities will benefit the child.

Contact a Lombard, IL Divorce Lawyer 

If you are in the process of divorcing your addicted spouse, it is essential that you hire a knowledgeable DuPage County family law attorney from A. Traub and Associates. Our skilled legal team understands how difficult this time can be, which is why we will fight to win the custody battle for the safety of you and your child. Call our office today at 630-426-0196 to schedule your confidential consultation.



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