Child custody disputes can be emotionally contentious in even the best of circumstances. When these disputes involve allegations or concerns that one parent is chemically dependent or is abusing alcohol, things can get complicated quickly. If you have been accused of engaging in excessive drinking or drug use, or if you are concerned that your child is in danger due to the other parent’s chemical dependency issues, it is important to get experienced legal counsel on your side to ensure that your rights as a parent remain protected.
At the Phoenix law office of Lasiter & Jackson, our attorneys are committed to helping parents successfully resolve the most difficult family law matters. Contact us online to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation and to learn how we may be able to help.
Arizona courts are authorized to take into account whether a parent’s abuse of alcohol or drugs is likely to have a negative impact on the relationship between the parent and child. In fact, courts begin with the presumption that if there is a history of alcohol or drug abuse that has occurred within the past 12 months, then it is not in the child’s best interest to grant that parent custody rights.
Just because the court begins with the presumption that a parent with a history of alcohol or drug abuse is unfit to be granted child custody does not mean that this presumption cannot be overcome. If you are facing allegations or problems regarding drug or alcohol abuse, steps can be taken to help defend against those allegations or otherwise help your custody case.
It may be that the stress of your custody battle has pushed you to engage in behavior that is not typical. If you were charged with drunk driving and have no previous convictions, it is possible to argue that this was merely a one-time event. If you have ongoing issues of drug or alcohol abuse, your custody case is not necessarily hopeless. Taking proactive steps such as voluntarily entering into a treatment program can show that you are serious about getting your life on track and are committed to ensuring the well-being of your children. There may also be other options to help your case depending on your situation, needs and goals. Our lawyers will thoroughly review your circumstances and help you choose the options that are legally and strategically optimal for you.
While we understand that even the most well-meaning parents can make mistakes, sometimes it is simply not safe for a child to be around a parent who is struggling with alcohol or chemical dependency issues. If you are concerned that your child’s other parent is abusing alcohol or drugs, or is otherwise unfit to be around your child, we can help present your argument to the court for why you should be granted sole custody of your child.
We will work hard to protect your parental rights and to help you reach a custody resolution that is in your child’s best interests without judgment about your situation. Contact us online today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.