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Child Custody and Substance Abuse in Maryland

People with clasped hands on a desk over wedding bands and papersMaryland family courts consider what is in the best interest of the child when making child custody decisions, and one of the factors that might arise during a case is substance abuse. The court takes allegations of drug or alcohol abuse seriously because it can have a major impact on the well-being of the adult and the child. What should you know about substance abuse and child custody cases in Maryland?

During a Divorce

During a divorce when custody is being decided, one parent with a substance abuse issue may be denied parental rights. There is no presumption of joint custody under Maryland law, and instead the court uses a long list of factors to determine what is in a child’s best interest. From financial status to employment, the judge will weigh many factors to create the final custody decision.

In Maryland, there are multiple ways that a parent’s drug abuse could come to light during the divorce process. For example, if a child is born to a mother who is addicted to drugs, the hospital must report that information to state officials. During a divorce, one spouse can also raise a concern about the other spouse’s substance abuse. When making these accusations, you must work with an experienced lawyer to ensure that you build a strong case. Because these are such serious claims, the court will expect to see evidence.

During and After Substance Abuse Recovery

When a parent is in recovery for substance abuse, it can affect custody positively. Treatment is often the first step to restoring parent visitation rights and custody. While custody will typically not be granted during the recovery process, finishing a drug or alcohol treatment program is a good place to start. If someone has no parental rights due to substance abuse, he or she will need to build a strong case with the help of a lawyer to show that he or she is ready to take on the responsibilities of parenting again. We can assist you in showing your recovery and that you can remain drug-free and help to negotiate custody in the aftermath of your substance abuse recovery.

Get Help with Your Divorce in Maryland with Lebovitz Law

Whether you are preparing to file for divorce in Maryland or looking to create a parenting plan that works for you, Lebovitz Law can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today.

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