If you’ve struggled with an alcohol or drug problem, you may have a difficult time getting the shared custody of your child that you’d like in your divorce. Your co-parent may not trust you to care for your child alone, even for short periods. If a judge has to decide the issue, their focus will be on your child’s best interests — and that can put your recovery process in the spotlight.
If you’ve made a commitment to recovery, that’s an important step in the right direction – for your child and for yourself. However, it takes time to convince others that you can remain clean and sober. A judge will need to see that not only are you committed to recovery but that you also have a home where your child will be safe and not exposed to potential danger or harmful influences.
Steps you can take to increase your parenting time
Most judges want a child to maintain a relationship with both parents as long as neither of them is abusive or negligent. Therefore, if you can show that you’re able to take care of your child, even for short periods, you improve your chances of getting more parenting time.
Enrollment in a treatment program or even a 12-step support group is usually necessary. It’s helpful to have people outside of your family who can testify to your recovery process and sobriety.
You may need to take random drug or alcohol tests, as well. There are numerous types of testing programs. If your issue is alcohol, there are remote alcohol monitoring programs that let you prove your sobriety remotely either regularly or around your parenting time.
Working toward increased parenting time is a process
It’s likely frustrating that you can’t immediately get the custody rights you believe you’ve earned with all of your hard work to get and stay sober. However, by taking the required steps to prove that continued sobriety, you probably have a better chance of gaining those rights than if you rebel against them. Your family law attorney can help you.