Marriages can break down for any number of reasons. For some New Jersey residents, a spouse’s alcohol or drug problems may prove too much to cope with, especially when children are involved. For the parent with such problems, this will have a serious impact on the issue of child custody.

If one spouse alleges that the other has an addiction, the court will not simply take his or her word for it. A judge will expect evidence of this to be produced, and may also decide to order tests to be done in order to confirm the truth. The type of tests will vary depending on whether one wishes to determine more recent or longer-term usage. Positive test results do not necessarily mean that one’s relationship with his or her children will be permanently hampered.

Understandably, custody may not be granted to a parent with problems with addiction. However, if he or she gets help and admits to the problem, it is still possible that parenting time will be granted, albeit under supervision. Showing a commitment to recovery in order to spend time with one’s children is a positive step forward, and may be considered as an attempt to set a good example. As one progresses on the road to recovery, it may be possible to revisit custody and visitation arrangements.

There are many options available to New Jersey residents who seek to overcome any problems in order to become better parents. Child custody is not set in stone, and may be subject to review at any time. The best interest of the children should always be at the front of any discussions.

Source: dmagazine.com, “How Alcohol and Drug Allegations Can Impact Your Child Custody Case“, Kelly McClure, Sept.26, 2017