From your physical health to your financial well-being, substance abuse can take a negative toll on virtually all aspects of your life. Consequently, if you have an addiction to an illegal drug or a prescription medication, you probably want to seek professional treatment as soon as possible.
If you are looking for another reason to become sober, your child custody case may be it. After all, if you have a history of substance abuse, you may have a hard time convincing your children’s co-parent or a judge to give you time with your kids.
The applicable legal standard
Like in most other states, Arizona judges must evaluate the best interests of the kids when making child-related orders. State law outlines 11 specific factors judges use to determine what is best for the children. One of these factors looks at the mental health of each parent. If you are abusing controlled substances, a judge may find you to be a mentally unfit parent.
The danger to your kids
If you use drugs, you may not be able to provide for the basic needs of your children. Your children may also be at risk of physical harm from being near to your drugs or ingesting them. Either way, Arizona law gives judges wide latitude to impose custody-related orders to protect kids from harm.
In the Grand Canyon State, you may lose some of your parental rights because of a history of drug abuse or a drug-related conviction during the previous year. Ultimately, if you are struggling with substance addiction, you must plan to address your addiction during your custody dispute.