The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Addiction Problems and Child Custody Battles in DuPage County

Posted on in Chicago divorce attorney

aurora child custody lawyerChild custody battles can sometimes be traumatic, stressful, and agonizing; however, when one parent suffers from addiction problems, the custody battle can be even more contentious and chaotic. Addiction comes in many forms, and a parent's addiction can have lasting and damaging mental and emotional effects on a child's well-being through adulthood. For instance, a child of an abusive alcoholic father could grow up with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or develop co-dependency. The consequences of the dysfunction caused by an addicted parent are severe, as many children can feel shame, embarrassment, abandonment, and anger.

Addiction can devastate a family's welfare, finances, and mental health and can lead to domestic violence and child abuse. According to the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, roughly one in eight children reside with at least one parent with a substance abuse addiction. If an addictive parent cannot provide their child with basic needs, safety, and protection, that parent might be forced to forfeit their parenting rights. The best interest of the child is at the forefront of every case in Illinois court. So, the provisions of an offending parent's parenting plan may be restricted if needed. A trustworthy child custody attorney can help you navigate this difficult situation. 

Common Addictions that Incite Divorce and Custody Disputes  

Divorce is sometimes imminent when an addictive spouse is unable to curtail their habits and actions or if they refuse to seek rehabilitation. If addiction continues after a divorce, a parenting plan is subject to being restricted.  The many types of physical and behavioral addiction that can afflict a divorcing parent could include but are not limited to the following. 

  • Physical addiction – Alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs, opioids, hallucinogens, methamphetamines, and any other addictive substances that one can grow dependent on to the point of negatively affecting their relationships, health, and career. 

  • Behavioral addiction – Pornography, sex, gambling, shopping, exercising, food, and video game-playing addictions are some of the compulsive behaviors that could afflict a spouse and subsequently destroy the family. 

Potential Solutions for Parents Suffering from Addiction

Many people with addiction issues are able to overcome their addiction and be loving, effective parents. If an addicted parent is willing to undergo and complete treatment, reconciliation may be possible. Efforts to cease risky behavior like driving drunk with children in the car can help with healing and enable a family to regain trust in the parent who is a recovering addict. Treatment can lead to harmonious co-parenting. 

In other cases, the child custody arrangement needs to be modified. A modification to the parenting plan, such as a parenting time restriction, will not only bring peace of mind to the petitioning parent but may serve as an incentive for the offending parent to seek rehabilitation. Parenting time restrictions can include contingencies that the parent recovers and does not relapse. Until recovery is proven, a modification can limit the offending parent’s parenting time with the child.

An order of protection may be necessary in the most severe cases, where an addicted parent is violent or threatening violence toward the family. Issued by the court, an order of protection impedes the offending parent from physically and verbally harming their family. An order of protection can also include amendments to the parenting plan.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer in DuPage County 

At The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., family law attorney Matthew M. Williams relentlessly advocates for agreeable solutions. Certified in collaborative and cooperative law, Matthew M. Williams understands the delicate and personal issues of child custody battles. With each custody case, Matthew M. Williams uses strategies to minimize emotional discord while keeping the child’s best interest at the forefront. If your custody battle involves an addiction-plagued spouse, or if you wish to modify or enforce your parenting plan to restrict that spouse’s parental responsibilities, contact an Aurora child custody attorney at 630-409-8184.



The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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