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Substance abuse and child custody

| Jun 17, 2021 | Child Custody

Are you concerned about your ex-spouse’s alcohol or drug abuse and whether your ex is using these substances around your children? Substance abuse is a serious issue that plagues many adults. As a parent, you’ll want to make sure your children are safe during visitation with their other parent. As a Pennsylvania resident, here are some things you should know when it comes to custody and printing time.

When the courts step in

Pennsylvania courts will generally respond to substance abuse issues during a child custody and parenting time hearing or when you report the substance abuse and explain that the issue is impacting your children. You can report the issue to the courts or to the Pennsylvania Department of Child Protective Services.

How will the courts respond?

Pennsylvania courts will take action if a parent’s alcohol or drug abuse inhibits their ability to care for their children or if the parent is a threat to the well-being of the children. If the issue is discussed during the custody and parenting time hearing, the judge will look into the matter. The judge will investigate the accuracy of the substance abuse claim and if the claim is true, the judge will explore whether the substance abuse impacts the children negatively.

In all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia, the child’s well-being is taken into account when a hearing is held on this type of a family law issue. The judge will also look into whether the parent has a history of drug and alcohol abuse and assess the parent’s actions when caring for the children.