Your child is probably the most important thing in your life. As such, you’re probably willing to do whatever you can to ensure their safety and wellbeing. While that might not sound like an issue that you’ll have to address in a major way on a daily basis, it can prominently veer its head in child custody matters. In these cases, parents often fling allegations at each other that pertain to a child’s safety. When that happens, you need to be prepared to present evidence that supports your position.
The effects of parental substance abuse
Parental substance abuse is more common than many people realize, and it can have a profound impact on a child’s life. Here are just few of the ways that parental substance abuse can affect a child:
- Increased risk of abuse and neglect
- Poor development of cognitive, social, and emotional skills
- Onset of anxiety and/or depression
- Development of shame
- Taking on of parental responsibilities due to an incapacitated parent
- Poor school performance
- Development of behavioral issues
Many aspects of a parent’s substance abuse cause these effects. A parent who abuses substances can see physical and mental impairment, difficulty recognizing and responding to the child’s cues, financial difficulties, and breaking of attachment between the parent and the child.
Using evidence of parental substance abuse
In order to show that parental substance abuse should be taken into consideration in your child custody case, you’re better served if you can show how that substance abuse has affected your child. This isn’t always easy, of course, but it’s certainly not impossible. Evidence of drug or alcohol abuse, in conjunction with observed behaviors and the testimony of credible witnesses can be powerful in your case. If you want to know more about what you can do to build your child custody case to best protect your child, it might be time to discuss your set of circumstances with your family law attorney.