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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.

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Waukesha County family lawyerA Wisconsin divorce becomes even more stressful when there are children involved, especially if you and your spouse strongly disagree about what is best for them. The idea of losing custody of your children is devastating to even think about. Although navigating through a custody battle may not always be easy, you can take steps to increase your chances of a positive outcome.

Tips For Securing Custody of Your Children

In order to achieve the best possible result in your custody case, you must prove to the court that you are responsible and a good role model to your kids. Here are a few tips to help you maintain custody.

  • Make your children a top priority. Wisconsin courts prioritize a child’s best interests when making custody decisions. You should do everything you can to demonstrate your commitment as a parent. Always arrive on time for visits and be there to support your children.

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Muskego lawyer for grandparents rightsIn recent years, many states have begun to recognize the importance of the relationship between children and adults who may not necessarily be their parents. In many cases, there are other adults in many childrens’ lives who provide care and guidance. These adults might be other family members, like aunts, uncles, or grandparents, or they may even be step-parents. Under certain circumstances, these individuals -- especially grandparents -- may be able to have visitation rights granted to them when a parent withholds their child. 

When Do Visitation Rights Apply?

There are only limited situations in which a grandparent might be granted visitation with their grandchild. Parents have a right to be able to raise their children without governmental interference. The limited nature of the third-party visitation statute is intended to protect that right by establishing the presumption that a parent’s decision to deny visitation by a grandparent is in the child’s best interest. However, a grandparent may be able to be awarded visitation rights if the child’s parents are going through divorce proceedings, one or both of the child’s parents are deceased, or the child’s parents were never married.

Special Grandparent Visitation

If a grandparent wishes to petition for visitation, they have the burden of proving that all of the following elements are true:

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