Drugs and Child Custody

As the illegal drug epidemic becomes worse and worse in our country, there is no shortage of family law cases involving at least one parent who struggles with addiction. Having the unique position of representing both addicts and the former (or soon to be former) spouse of addicts, I know the concerns both parties have in these cases. Personally, I recognize drug addiction as an illness; however, not all Judges feel the same way. Accordingly, it is important to have an attorney who knows her audience when presenting your case at trial. Despite the differences in opinion I may have with Judges, the goal in every case is first and foremost to protect the best interest of the parties’ children and to maintain their safety and security. The Judges and I both agree on that! However, that does not mean no contact with the afflicted parent. Most often a parent struggling with substance abuse will be required to exercise his/her visitation under the supervision of another person or through a paid facility. Most often this means no overnight visitation, as true supervision requires monitoring of every second of visitation. For this reason, supervision by one individual can be burdensome and difficult to secure. Luckily supervised visitation facilities are much more numerous and far less expensive than they were just 10 years ago. This period of supervised visitation provides peace of mind to the custodial parent, but also preserves the parent/child relationship with the other parent in a safe environment. For the substance abuser, this is the time to rehabilitate yourself, as well as your case. At Vella & King, we can put your and your family in touch with the numerous resources in our community to assist your family during this difficult time. Please call us today for a consultation to learn how we can help guide you through this difficult process: 205-868-1555.