How Can a Substance Abuse Issue Impact Child Custody in California?

Divorce and its surrounding issues, such as child custody, are complicated. Unfortunately, if you are someone who has a known substance abuse issue, obtaining child custody may become even more difficult. Please continue reading and reach out to our experineced California family law attorneys to learn more about child custody and how a substance abuse issue may affect it. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the different types of child custody in California?

The two primary types of child custody in California are physical custody and legal custody. Simply put, physical custody refers to where your child will live, while legal custody refers to your legal authority, as that child’s parent, to make certain key life decisions on his or her behalf. For example, when a parent has legal custody of their child, they can decide the types of medical treatment their child may receive, where their child may go to school, what religion their child will practice, and more.

How do California courts determine child custody?

Though generally, California courts would prefer to split child custody evenly between parents, the truth is, this does not always happen. California courts will base their decision solely on the best interests of your child, though they will consider several aspects of you, your former spouse, and your child’s life when making this decision. Some of these factors are as follows:

  • The bond you share with your child
  • Whether you can financially support your child
  • Whether you can provide your child with a safe, stable home
  • Whether you can emotionally support your child
  • Whether your child has any special needs
  • How close you live in proximity to your former spouse
  • Any other factor the court deems relevant to your case

That being said, since your child’s best interests are the deciding factor, if your former spouse is alleging that you have a substance abuse issue, you must retain the services of an experienced Los Angeles family law attorney who can prove either that you do not have such an issue, or that you are doing everything in your power to correct the issue, such as attending rehab or counseling. Substance abuse issues can drastically affect the outcome of your custody agreement, which is why you simply cannot afford to proceed without the assistance of an experienced attorney. Our firm has helped countless individuals achieve favorable custody agreements for years, and we are ready to fight to do the same for you.


Contact our experienced Los Angeles firm

Divorce and family law issues are notoriously complicated and personal, which is why you must hire an attorney with years of experience, as well as the compassion and skill needed to handle these sensitive matters. For the qualified, dedicated legal representation you and your family deserve and need, contact Zitser Family Law Group, APC today.

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