Skip to main content

Exit WCAG Theme

Switch to Non-ADA Website

Accessibility Options

Select Text Sizes

Select Text Color

Website Accessibility Information Close Options
Close Menu
Steve W. Marsee, P.A. Orlando Divorce Attorney
  • Experienced DIVORCE ATTORNEY

Substance Abuse Among Divorced Parents: How Much Is Too Much?


About 20 million American adults have struggled with substance abuse in the past. This is approximately one in ten. Of course, there are many others who keep their substance abuse issues under wraps, so the real number is probably much higher. Because of these numbers, there’s a relatively good chance your ex has dealt with substance abuse in the past. Perhaps they continue to struggle with this disorder to this day. While you might not blame your ex for this, you may be concerned when your children are visiting their household. So how much substance abuse is too much, and when can this result in your ex losing their visitation rights?

Will Substance Abuse Automatically Result in My Ex Losing Custody?

 The first thing you need to know is that your former spouse will not lose custody automatically simply because they struggle with substance abuse. The family court must consider the right course of action while considering the best interests of the children. Even though you might be concerned about this situation, the family court will not consider your own personal wishes or anxieties. They will be solely focused on the well-being of the children when making their decision.

In many cases, family law courts come to the conclusion that even though a parent might be struggling with substance abuse, they still play an important role in their child’s life. Breaking the child and the parent apart may do more harm than good when considering the mental health of the child. A common course of action involves ordering the parent to undergo rehab.

That being said, there are certainly cases in which parents lose custody rights after struggling with substance abuse. This is especially true when parents expose their children to dangerous situations as a result of their addiction. For example, they might pass out and leave the children unsupervised for hours. Or perhaps they might have them in the car when picking up drugs from a dealer. Even simply taking substances in full view of the children can be enough to raise serious concerns.

So How Much is Too Much? 

At the end of the day, there is no specific amount of substance abuse that “triggers” the loss of custody. The court uses its discretion on a case-by-case basis to determine the best course of action for the child’s best interests. It all depends on whether the parent is able to conceal their addiction from the children and whether they are putting their children in dangerous situations.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Divorce Attorney in Florida 

Divorce issues such as these can easily be resolved with help from a qualified, experienced Orlando family lawyer – such as Steve Marsee, P.A. Over the years, we have helped spouses with all kinds of divorce-related issues – including those involving child custody and parenting time. With our assistance, you can approach this complex situation in a confident, efficient manner – increasing the chances of a positive resolution. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan.


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

By submitting this form I acknowledge that form submissions via this website do not create an attorney-client relationship, and any information I send is not protected by attorney-client privilege.

Skip footer and go back to main navigation