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Could your drinking impact your child custody arrangements?

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2024 | Child Custody |

Alcohol plays a big part in modern culture. People go out for drinks with coworkers or clients. They may treat themselves to their favorite beverage after a long day at work or a stressful week.

Unfortunately, alcohol can have negative impacts on someone’s behavior and their daily life. Some people develop issues with alcohol where they do not control their drinking or engage in inappropriate conduct after consuming alcohol. Sometimes, alcohol can contribute to a Texas divorce. Other times, alcohol can affect the outcome of divorce proceedings.

Someone who drinks regularly may worry that their spouse could use their personal habits as a reason to interfere with their parental rights. Can one parent deny the other access to their shared children because of alcohol use?

Alcohol issues could affect custody

If one parent wants to deny the other time with the children or control over their lives, the parents may end up litigating custody matters. Contested custody scenarios require the involvement of a judge who applies state law.

Texas statutes require that judges focus on the best interest of children when handling custody disagreements. The starting point for such proceedings is often an assumption that shared custody is in their best interest. However, both parents have the option of presenting evidence that could raise questions about that presumption.

Evidence of a substance abuse disorder could affect a judge’s opinion of someone’s suitability for shared custody. Especially in scenarios where drinking has led to violent incidents or criminal charges, a history of alcohol use could potentially affect the outcome of a litigated custody case.

There is hope for those worried about their parental rights. Thankfully, a history of alcohol issues does not mean that someone has to give up their relationship with their children. Those who can prove that they have addressed their challenges, possibly by undergoing rehabilitative services or achieving sobriety, could convince a judge that their prior alcohol issues should no longer impact their parenting abilities.

Many people find that achieving sobriety is beneficial not just for their legal needs but also for the improvement of their personal relationships. There are resources available for those who want to change, and remaining close to one’s children can be a profound source of personal motivation.

When someone worried about their custody rights understands the law and takes steps to improve their circumstances, they can potentially obtain a better outcome to litigate custody proceedings. Those who are already subject to an unfavorable custody order might be able to request a custody modification.

Understanding how to address personal issues in a contentious custody case may benefit parents in challenging personal circumstances. Parents who learn about how the courts handle custody matters may feel more confident about achieving a reasonable outcome during litigation.