When you share time with your kids with their other parent, you can’t always know everything that happens when they are away. However, when there are signs which indicate that the other parent has an addiction, you need to take action immediate action to ensure that your children are safe.
Signs of Addiction
Your first suspicions that the children’s other parent has an addiction are probably going to come from comments the children make after spending time with them. For instance, if your child is younger and frequently mentions daddy stumbling, messing up his words, and smelling too sweet during visits, these may be indications of alcohol abuse. Your older children may notice their parent drinking or using identifiable drugs and report this information to you. You may also notice the other parent appearing as if they are recovering from alcohol or drug use when you get the children back from them. It may also be that the parent has a history of addiction which you have seen before and can identify symptoms of relapse.
Contact a Family Law Attorney
If you are reasonably sure your children's other parent is abusing a substance while caring for them you should not waste any time. Contact an experienced family law attorney right away and talk to them about what you have observed. After going over the information and options with counsel, you may have to take immediate formal legal steps to protect your children.
To legally stop the children's parent from time-sharing you are going to have to let the court know what you think is going on. If the court examines the evidence and decides the parent is abusing drugs or alcohol, it can take action to protect the children. Depending on the severity of the situation, this could mean the parent's time-sharing will be limited, or they will have to submit to supervised visits. The court could also decide to award you all parental-decision making authority and stop all time-sharing with the other parent. The addicted parent could also be ordered to undergo treatment or drug testing in order to see their kids without restrictions.
At the Draper Law Firm, we understand the seriousness of the situation when a parent is suspected of abusing drugs or alcohol and can help you evaluate your options and take action to protect your children. Contact us today online or call (866) 767-4711. We serve the greater Central Florida area with offices located in Kissimmee, Orlando, and St. Cloud.