What to Do When You Suspect Your Child's Other Parent is Abusing Alcohol or Drugs

Posted on September 22, 2016 12:25pm
What to Do When You Suspect Your Child's Other Parent is Abusing Alcohol or Drugs

If you suspect that your ex-spouse is abusing alcohol or drugs and they have either full or joint custody of your child, your child’s safety is your first priority. What are your options? What action can you take to remove your child from a dangerous situation?

What To Do If You Suspect Alcohol or Drug Abuse

  • Look for Evidence. First, before you do anything, you should make sure that your suspicions have merit. What kind of evidence do you have? Does your spouse exhibit strange behavior or appear to be using drugs? Have there been accidents in his or her home? Is your child giving any indication that there may be something wrong with their father or mother? Gather as much proof as you can.
  • Contact an Attorney for Help Modifying Custody. If you believe your suspicions are warranted, call your family law attorney immediately. You may be able to file a motion to modify your child custody order to get primary custody of your child, or modify your parenting plan to limit your child’s exposure to the other parent.

Modifying Custody Due to Drug or Alcohol Abuse

Your attorney will present evidence on your behalf that drug use is occurring around your child.

Some evidence can be used to prove habital drug or alcohol use include:

  • Testimony from witnesses with close and personal knowledge of your ex
  • Recent DUI charges
  • Recent drug charges
  • Social welfare reports
  • Admittance into a rehab program

​If the Court agrees that there is habitual, frequent, and continuing use of drugs or alcohol abuse by the accused parent, the Court has the power to order drug and alcohol testing of that parent. Some judges may require both parents to submit to testing in some situations. If the test returns a positive result, the modification will likely be granted.

Will the Other Parent Lose Custody Rights?

If you successfully obtain a modification, your spouse may get limited supervised visits with the child or lose their visitation rights completely while they seek treatment. This may last until they can show that they have gotten help and have remained sober for a certain length of time.

We Can Help Protect Your Child

If you suspect that your ex-spouse is using drugs around your child, do not delay in contacting a lawyer. The Portland family law attorneys at McKinley Irvin encourage you to call (503) 395-0244 to set up a case evaluation with an attorney with experience in these matters. We accept cases throughout the state of Oregon.

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