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


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

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Substance Abuse and Child Custody

 Posted on October 11,2023 in Child Custody

Kendall County child custody lawyerA child’s best interest will always come into play when a judge decides on parental responsibilities. When one or both of a child’s parents engage in recreational substance abuse, the judge can deem them unfit to make decisions on the child’s behalf. The response could see parental responsibilities and parenting time revoked or lost altogether.

Individuals with a substance abuse problem can exhibit unpredictable and erratic behavior. Your child should not have to endure such a dangerous environment. Get help for your child by consulting a child custody attorney as soon as you notice habitual drug abuse in your ex-spouse.

What is Substance Abuse?

Drug addiction, or substance abuse disorder, is a disease that affects an individual’s cognitive behavior and can potentially lead to uncontrollable use of drugs, either legal or illegal. Alcohol, prescription drugs, nicotine, illegal narcotics, and even caffeine are considered substances in this regard.

What Effect Does It Have on Child Custody?

Parental responsibilities and parenting time can both be restricted by Illinois courts. If a judge considers a child’s physical, mental, or moral well-being in danger because of a parent’s substance abuse, they can take away that parent’s right to be around their child.

The court can order the drug-abusing parent to seek help for the drug or alcohol abuse and give parenting time to another responsible adult while undergoing treatment. Anyone enabling substance abuse can also be court-mandated to not attend or be in the child’s presence during parenting time.

What Determines the Best Interests of the Child?

The court looks at the best interests of a child when determining parental responsibilities after a divorce. A judge will need to look at many factors before deciding on a parent’s rights to their child:

  • What the child wants
  • What the child needs
  • How easily a child will adapt to their new living arrangements
  • The mental and physical health of both parents, including the child or children

What if Substance Abuse Develops After A Child Custody Agreement?

The allocation of parental responsibilities can be modified at any time. All it takes is bringing it to the attention of the court. The parent accused of abusing drugs will be administered a drug test, which could see that parent’s parental responsibilities revoked.

A judge will order rehabilitation for the substance-abusing parent. Failure to follow a court’s ruling could see the parent’s parental responsibilities removed completely. A parent’s compliance and recovery could see the restrictions on parenting time or responsibilities lifted.

Contact a Kendall County, IL Child Custody Lawyer

Every good parent should be concerned with the dangers another parent may pose to their child through substance abuse. The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. can provide legal guidance and assistance to get them, or you, help with your substance abuse and represent you in court. Do not let your child be taken from you. For a skilled Batavia, IL child custody attorney, call 630-409-8184 and let us protect your rights.

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


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

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