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What To Do If You Believe Your Child’s Other Parent Is An Addict?

On behalf of Tasha K. Schaffner of Schaffner Family Law posted in divorce on Wednesday, August 2, 2017.

Getting divorced is typically difficult in more ways than one. If your situation is similar to many others in Kentucky, you may face various financial challenges during and after divorce, as well was emotional struggles and problems related to parenting. In fact, the latter is often a topic of contentious debate in family court, and some problems can get blown so out of proportion they seem impossible to resolve. When an extenuating factor exacerbates a particular issue, you may be wrought with stress and anxiety.

Sadly, a surrounding circumstance that often causes serious problems in child custody cases is drug addiction. It’s difficult enough to navigate situations where you believe a close friend may be experimenting with drugs; when it’s your former spouse who may have an addiction, you may feel completely overwhelmed and unsure where to turn for help. At the same time, you may realize a need to bring an abrupt halt to any custody or visitation arrangements that exist.

How to recognize signs of drug addiction

You obviously would never want to falsely accuse your children’s other parent of abusing drugs, especially given the fact that doing so may impede his or her ability to spend time with your children. However, like others who have faced such problems, you may worry that spending time with a drug-addicted parent may make any problems your children face in divorce even worse. Below are common signs of drug addiction that may help you confirm or rule out your current suspicions:

  • If you notice that your former spouse is having difficulty holding down a job or performing normal, everyday functions, it may be a sign of trouble.
  • If your former spouse keeps coming to you to request financial loans or doesn’t pay required child support, and you are unsatisfied with explanations given when you ask where the money is going, you may want to further investigate the situation.
  • If your children keep mentioning issues that concern you after spending time with their other parent, such as stories about their mother or father sleeping the whole time they visited, or appearing disheveled or “out of it,” you may want to discuss the matter with your former spouse.
  • If your former spouse becomes highly defensive or argumentative when you broach the topic of possible drug addiction, it may be a sign that your suspicions are correct.

You may already know someone else in your life who struggles with addiction. If so, you likely understand the havoc it can wreak in every aspect of life, especially if children are involved. It’s often best to seek support rather than trying to handle such situations on your own. Protecting your children and keeping their best interests at heart are undoubtedly two of your highest priorities.

Many Kentucky parents have successfully overcome problems with former spouses associated with drug addiction by calling upon experienced counselors for guidance. When a particular situation interrupts an otherwise successful parenting agreement, it may necessitate a return to the courtroom to make sure your children are safe and to get the court to change an existing order, as needed.

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