Advice For Regaining Child Custody After Substance Abuse

Posted on: 8 November 2016

Losing custody of your child due to substance abuse can be a wakeup call for many people. Taking the steps to regain custody will require work and perseverance, but the results will be worth it. The following guide can help you make the right decisions as you begin working to regain your parental rights.

Keep up with treatment

In many cases you will be presented with a court ordered treatment plan or you will be required to seek treatment on your own. It is vital that you follow through with treatment for your addiction and any other underlying issues. If you have a court ordered plan, only change it if your counselor or doctor advises, and then log all adjustments with the court. You must be able to prove to the court you are not abusing substances any longer.

Avoid problem situations

This is a time to begin cutting some influences out of your life. Stop hanging around with other users, even if they are only casual users. You may even need to end a relationship with the other parent of your child if they are also a user and refusing to get treatment. Don't do anything that the court may see as risky behavior, such as going to parties where substance use is occurring. Surrounding yourself with clean, positive people will not just look better, it will also make it easier to control your addiction.

Attend every hearing or appointment

After removal from your home, you will be given a full calendar of meetings, hearings, and court dates. Some of these are to meet with the CPS agent in charge of your case or with appointed family counselors, while others will be hearings to determine temporary and longterm custody issues. It is vital that you don't miss any of these appointments, since they directly impact your custody and visitation rights.

Keep your own records

Finally, record everything you do. Each time you go to a meeting, show up for visitation, or successfully complete one of the conditions of custody as outlined by the court, write it down in a log book and keep any paperwork that proves you met the requirement. This log can go a long way toward proving you are now a fit parent. Documents are also lost, even by court officials, so keeping your own log may be the only way to actually prove that you did what was required.

For more help, contact a family law attorney in your area such as Margit M. Hicks, PA Attorney at Law.