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Does a history of substance abuse affect your custody rights?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Family Law

If you are a parent who has had addiction problems, it can raise serious concerns about your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for your children. Maryland courts prioritize the well-being of children in custody decisions, and evidence of substance abuse can weigh heavily in their deliberations.

Courts consider substance abuse a critical factor because it can impair your judgment, reliability and ability to care for your children. If the other parent or a concerned party brings evidence of your substance abuse to the court, expect the court to investigate these claims thoroughly.

Past substance abuse does not dictate present circumstances

If substance abuse has been an issue in your past, it does not automatically disqualify you from custody. The court will consider various factors, including:

  • Severity and frequency: How often and how severely does your substance abuse occur?
  • Impact on parenting: How has substance abuse impacted your parenting abilities and your children’s daily life?
  • Recovery efforts: What steps have you taken towards recovery, and how successful have those efforts been?

Each case is unique, and the court will look at the specific circumstances surrounding your situation. Being proactive about your recovery and demonstrating a stable lifestyle can significantly influence the court’s decision regarding custody.

Do not let your past define you as a parent

While a history of substance abuse can indeed impact your custody rights, it does not define who you are as a parent today. With the right approach and a commitment to recovery, you can address the court’s concerns and work towards a custody arrangement that serves the best interests of your children. Your efforts to maintain a substance-free lifestyle are essential not only for your custody case but also for being the parent your children need during these challenging times.