Substance abuse is a major problem in South Carolina and the rest of the United States, one that impacts tens of millions of people in a variety of ways. Substance abuse can impact child custody arrangements, so it is important that every parent fully understand the impact that addiction can have on their children.
Child custody and substance abuse
Typically, if one parent suspects the other of substance abuse, they should approach appropriate legal counsel in order to determine their options. Depending on the circumstances, an attorney may file an emergency order demanding a change in child custody arrangements. In South Carolina and all other states, judges will make these decisions using the “best interest of the child” standard. This means that a judge will make custody decisions based on what is in the best interest of the child in question, not the best interest of a parent.
A judge may order an investigation into claims of substance abuse. If these claims are substantiated, a judge may take numerous actions, such as order treatment, remove a child from a parent’s home or limit custody until the parent in question can prove that they have substance abuse issues under control.
What to do if you suspect substance abuse
You should document any claims and be prepared to provide evidence and testimony in court. If the concern is an immediate one, you should call the police or work with an attorney to take immediate legal action. This may be necessary to provide for the immediate protection of your child.