Many people struggle with drug addictions, and may become very concerned about whether their child custody case will be at stake for a past drug possession charge. As a parent who only wants the best for your children, you may feel confident advocating for yourself in court but are worried the judge will be swayed in the other direction for something you regret doing in the past. There isn’t a clear rule about how drug problems can impact a parent’s relationship with their children.
However, if you have a history that involves drug problems, then you will need to be prepared as you walk into court. The best way to develop a strong and strategic defense for yourself is by visiting with an attorney who is knowledgeable in family law and criminal defense.
Outcome of Custody and Visitation
There are many potential outcomes to a child custody battle. If you aren’t awarded custody to your children due to your past with drug offenses, the court may still grant you permission to visit your children on a scheduled basis. Based on the severity of the drug abuse, you may have to be supervised by a professional appointed by the court as you interact with your kids. The court may also require that you submit a drug test sample before seeing your children.
Of course, this scenario can feel terrible for a parent who has made strides in recovering from drug addiction or other related struggles. But, keep in mind that you can always petition for child custody modification down the road after you have passed drug tests, completed a drug rehabilitation program, or had other accomplishments that show the court that you are ready to care for your children.
It is realistic to say that the judge may deny your request for child custody. After you have remained sober for an extended period of time, the court may give you more visitation rights or award you joint custody. But then if the court finds out you have gotten back into using drugs, they may take away visitation and custody altogether.
After the child custody hearing, the judge may order you to attend counseling with a substance abuse therapist and finish a rehabilitation program. This therapist may be chosen by the court and ask for periodic updates about how you are doing and whether you are making positive decision towards your recovery. If you show consistent sobriety, the court may allow you a certain number of parenting hours or permit you to visit with your children unsupervised.
All in all, a drug possession charge can surely have an influence on whether you are given custody of your children. However, there are ways to improve and show the court that you are serious about your health and not having your drug addictions impact your children. Because there are so many negative judgements about those who struggle with drugs, it is best to have a drug lawyer in Bloomington, IL at your side to offer counsel and advice along the way.
Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into criminal law and drug possessions.