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Can You Get Parental Visitation with a History of Substance Abuse?

 Posted on June 30, 2021 in Parenting

Waukesha family law attorneysFrom the physical and mental health of both parents to the wishes of the children, family law judges look at a number of factors before making custody and visitation decisions. They may also consider a parent’s use of drugs or alcohol because frequent use of these substances can impact a parent’s ability to take care of a child. If you are trying to gain custody of your children, but have a history of substance abuse, you should enlist the help of a Wisconsin family lawyer.

How a Judge May Respond to Parental Substance Abuse

Judges do not take alcohol or drug abuse in custody battles lightly. Parents who abuse these substances often neglect to give their children what they need. They may also put their kids’ lives in danger. For example, if a parent is heavily drunk and forgets to turn off the stovetop, it can increase the risk of a fire in the house. Judges want to prevent these sorts of incidents from occurring, so they are weary about awarding custody to parents with substance abuse issues.

If a judge hears an allegation that a parent is abusing drugs or alcohol, he or she will fully investigate that claim. A judge will typically have the accused parent take a drug test. If illegal drugs are found in the parent’s system, the court may award custody to the other parent.

How to Get Parental Rights After Substance Abuse

If a judge granted custody to the other parent due to your substance abuse history, all hope is not lost. If you put in the work, you may regain your parental rights over time. Here are a few steps you should follow.

  • Go to rehab. If you are struggling to stay sober, your next step is to go to a substance abuse treatment center. This will show the judge that you are taking the necessary steps to recover and see your children again.
  • Attend supervised visitations. After completing rehab, a judge may grant supervised visitations with your children. A court-appointed professional will be in the room during your visits. Always arrive on time for these visits and avoid discussing your case with your kids.
  • Follow the judge’s orders. Even if you have successfully completed rehab, a judge may request for you to go to counseling or take random drug tests. To improve your chances of regaining your parental rights, obey these orders.

Contact a Waukesha, WI Child Custody Lawyer

If you are dealing with custody problems due to substance abuse, the Waukesha County family attorneys at Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP are here to help. We understand how difficult this situation must be and want to offer our legal advance. Call us at 262-232-6699 to schedule a free consultation.



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