As many New Jersey parents know, resolving disputes over how best to care for children when parents divorce or parents who were never married to each other break off their relationships can be quite challenging. If one or both parents accuse the other of being unfit, the court must take time to investigate the matter and determine a course of action in the best interests of the children involved. A star of TV show Southern Charm, Thomas Ravenel, is currently fighting for sole child custody against the mother of his two children, whom he has accused of illegally buying, selling and using prescription drugs.

This situation is definitely an example of how things can get worse before they get better when parents head to court to battle over what is best for their kids. The mother of Ravenel’s children, Kathryn Dennis, lost custody some time ago but regained it after completing drug rehab. Ravenel has since told the court that Dennis not only continues to use drugs, she also allegedly drinks copious amounts of alcohol (sometimes in conjunction with taking prescription meds) and has placed his children at risk on more than one occasion.

Dennis has fired allegations against Ravenel as well, such as mentioning that there were sexual assault accusations filed against him from a former nanny. The father of two says that was all a scheme, masterminded by Dennis herself to help her gain the upper hand in custody proceedings. Ravenel also accused Southern Charm producers and cast members of supporting Dennis’s supposed prescription drug addiction by giving her pills and engaging in other illegal drug activity.

Substance abuse is for certain a child custody issue that may prompt a New Jersey court to rule a particular parent unfit. Time will tell if that will be the ultimate outcome of the Ravenel/Dennis case. In the meantime, any concerned parent in this state who believes he or she has grounds to petition the court for sole custody based on child-risk factors may wish to seek consultation with an experienced family law attorney to learn more about the process.