Virginia Child Custody Law Firm
Substance abuse can lead to aggression, confusion, depression, financial issues, and other problems that could have a significant effect on your children’s lives. If you believe your ex-spouse is abusing drugs or alcohol, and you have fears over the wellbeing of your children during overnight stays and visits, it is your right to act accordingly. In general, calling a Virginia child custody law firm would be in your best interest. You can file for a temporary custody order or modification of an order, as well as, petition the court for a better solution until your ex decides to get help.
Talk with a Family Lawyer from Our Virginia Child Custody Law Firm
If you are getting a divorce and know that your soon to be ex-spouse has a substance abuse disorder, you should be upfront with your child custody lawyer Arlington VA families trust. He or she can make the court aware of the situation so as to protect the interests of the children.
If you fail to notify your family lawyer, or the court, about your suspicions, the judge may unknowingly put your children’s’ safety at risk by giving your ex visitation or custody rights. If you are unable to trust your spouse with your children and have concerns over their drug or alcohol use, telling your family lawyer from our Virginia child custody law firm about it from the very beginning is important.
It is certainly possible that the judge presiding over your case will want to know more about your ex’s substance abuse. For example, he or she might ask you when it started, how the relationship has been affected, and what kind of impact it has had on your children. At this time, you should cooperate with the judge. Due to the sensitive nature of the situation, you should have a lawyer from our Virginia child custody law firm to be your voice. A lawyer can also submit evidence that supports your claims. You should not confront your ex-spouse on your own or make threats as this might only exacerbate the situation.
Petition the Court for a Modification
If you failed to notify the court about the substance abuse problem, or your ex-spouse developed it after you were divorced, you have the right to petition the court for a child custody modification order. You or your family lawyer will need to convince a judge that the children are at risk and modifying the order will be in their best interests. If you are successful, a judge can order changes to the agreement that will last until your ex-spouse decides to get treatment.
File a Restraining Order with the Court
If the substance abuse has caused physical harm, such as domestic violence, harassment, stalking, kidnapping, or any other criminal behavior, you may want to file a restraining order (also known as a protective order) against your ex-spouse. This order will mandate that your ex-spouse keeps a certain distance between you and your children. They will also be unable to call, text, email, or otherwise communicate with you. Should they breach this order, a judge may sentence them to jail.
Substance abuse disorders are very complicated and tend to lead to many problems for the individual and their loved ones. If you are concerned about your ex-spouses drinking or drug-using, and children are involved, the Virginia child custody law firm May Law LLP and find out how we can help.