Don’t let exposure to parental substance abuse harm your kid

Griffin Law, PLLC
Mar 13, 2024

Children are incredibly fragile. That might leave you on edge when your child custody and visitation is in dispute. A poor outcome here could leave your children subjected to harmful parental behavior that threatens their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. While there are many ways this can happen, one common issue we see in custody cases is exposure to parental substance abuse.

The impact of parental substance abuse

The ramifications of exposure to parental substance abuse can be wide-ranging. This includes:

  • Increased risk of abuse and neglect.
  • Feelings of shame.
  • Decline in school performance.
  • Social isolation.
  • Onset of anxiety and depression.
  • Heightened fear.
  • An increase in behavioral issues.

Any one of these side effects of exposure to parental substance abuse can disrupt your child’s life in a significant way. Making matters worse is that if they’re left untreated, these characteristics can negatively affect your child into adulthood, perhaps even increasing the chances that they’ll turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism when times get tough.

What should you do if your child has been exposed to parental substance abuse?

If your child has been exposed to parental substance abuse, then you need to be prepared to take legal action in the form of a child custody or visitation modification. To succeed on one of these motions, though, you’re going to need evidence that the other parent is in fact engaging in substance abuse, and you’ll be in a better position if you can clearly articulate how that exposure is causing harm to your child or putting them at risk.

So, if you’re ready to take action to protect your child, then starting thinking through what evidence you can gather and present in your case. By having a well-developed legal strategy, you maximize your chances of securing an outcome that protects your child’s best interests.

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