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


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

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

The Impact of Substance Abuse on Child Custody in Illinois

 Posted on May 24,2023 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerIf a parent has a substance abuse problem, it can seriously impact a child custody case. Suppose you are involved in an Illinois child custody case and are worried about how substance abuse may affect your situation. In that case, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the potential impact. Here’s what you should be aware of.

Substance Abuse and the Best Interests of the Child

In Illinois, the court’s primary consideration in a child custody case is the child’s best interests. When one parent has a substance abuse problem, the court will consider several factors to determine what is in the child’s best interests. These factors may include:

  • The nature and extent of the substance abuse problem
  • The parent’s ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child
  • The parent’s willingness to seek treatment for the substance abuse problem
  • The impact of the substance abuse on the child’s physical, emotional, and mental health
  • The parent’s ability to meet the child’s medical, educational, and emotional needs
  • The parent’s history of abuse or neglect of the child or other family members
  • The parent’s criminal history, if any, related to substance abuse

How Substance Abuse Can Affect Custody Determinations

When one parent has an alcohol or substance abuse problem, it can affect custody determinations in several ways. For example, the court may:

Award Custody to the Other Parent

In cases where substance abuse severely affects the child’s well-being, custody may be granted to the other parent by the court.

Limit Parenting Time

If the parent has a substance abuse problem but can still guarantee a safe environment for the child, the court may reduce their parenting time due to the substance abuse issue.

Require Drug or Alcohol Testing

The court may order drug or alcohol testing to determine whether the parent is sober during parenting time.

Require Treatment

The court may require the parent with the substance abuse problem to seek treatment for the problem, such as through a rehab program, and may require proof of completion.

Supervised Parenting Time

In some cases, the court may order supervised parenting time, where a neutral third party is present during parenting time to ensure that the child is safe.

Protecting Your Child’s Best Interests

To protect your child’s best interests in a child custody case, take action to address any concerns related to substance abuse. Consider the following essential points:

Document the Substance Abuse Problem

It is essential to keep a record of any substance abuse by the other parent, such as missed parenting time or incidents related to the abuse, to demonstrate its impact on the child.

Seek Professional Help

If you suspect the other parent is struggling with a substance abuse problem, it is vital to seek professional help. This may include contacting a social worker, substance abuse counselor, or other professional who can evaluate the situation and provide treatment recommendations.

Be Prepared to Prove Your Case in Court

If the other parent is unwilling to seek treatment and your child’s well-being is at risk, be prepared to prove your case in court. Be sure to have any relevant evidence ready, such as medical records or witness accounts of incidents related to substance abuse.

Contact a North Aurora Child Custody Attorney

Battling a case like this can be challenging, and having the help of an experienced North Aurora family law lawyer is vital. With the help of an attorney, you can receive representation in court if necessary and ensure that your rights are protected. Call The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 to get started.


Share this post:
The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


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

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Back to Top