If you are an addict who is also a parent, you probably realize that you can’t parent your kids to the best of your ability while you are using. However, some addicts are so deeply in denial that they can’t fathom how their addiction to drugs or alcohol can adversely affect their children.
The dilemma that addicts with kids face is that actively seeking treatment can be the catalyst for having their children removed from their custody. After all, if an addict enters an in-patient detox and rehab program, someone must be able to take care of the children while they seek the treatment that they so desperately need.
In some situations, this can cause the noncustodial parent to go to court and get an order to assume at least temporary custody of the children. But in other cases, another family member, such as the children’s grandparents or the addict’s siblings, could do the same, petitioning the court for temporary custody.
Can an addict regain custody once sober?
That certainly is one possible outcome. Courts generally look with favor on an addict who realized the depth of their addiction and how it kept them from being the best parent that they could be for their children. Taking the initiative to seek help for their substance abuse problem rather than waiting to be ordered by the court to get treatment is a good sign that the addict is serious about their recovery.
Of course, if the children appear to be thriving in their new circumstances, the addict might face an uphill battle when they try to seek custody once again. The courts often want to see that the addicts have remained active in an ongoing recovery program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous for six months or a year before revisiting the custody issue.
By working closely with your family law attorney, you can devise the best strategy to petition the court for your custodial rights as a parent.