New York courts decide child custody cases based on their determination of the best interests of the child. In making this determination, just about every aspect of your child’s life and your ability to care for them, as well as the other parent’s abilities, will be taken into consideration. That can be daunting, but some key issues may be dispositive in your case. Your child’s exposure to parental substance abuse may be one of them.
How exposure to parental substance abuse harms children
The sad reality is that a lot of children are exposed to parental substance abuse. And this exposure can have a major impact on your child’s safety and wellbeing. Each of the following may present in your child if he or she has been exposed to parental substance abuse:
- Anxiety and depression
- Behavioral issues
- Poor school performance
- Emotional and social isolation
- Taking on parental responsibilities to care for siblings
- Increased risk of abuse or neglect
These are just some of the ways that your child may suffer physical, emotional, and mental harm due to exposure to parental substance abuse.
Making the case for modification
If you suspect that your child is being harmed by exposure to parental substance abuse, then you might want to seek a custody modification to better protect your kid. But in order to successfully pursue one of these motions, you need evidence to support your position.
Fortunately, there are many places that you can turn to find this evidence. Criminal records and police reports might be helpful, but so, too, can witness accounts. Your child may be willing to testify, but even if he or she isn’t, then you might be able to use your child’s therapist to support your argument. You may even want to consider asking the court to order a child custody evaluation.
Fighting to protect your child
We know that these matters can be frightening and stressful. But the good news is that you have a path forward to protecting your child. If you want to learn more about how to develop the legal strategy that you need to do so, then now is the time to consider reaching out for assistance.