Parental substance abuse can harm children

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Divorce

When you’re getting divorced, child custody might be your top priority. After all, the outcome of your custody dispute will specify what time with your child will look like, and it’ll have a direct impact on your relationship with them. While you navigate this dispute, keep in mind that the court will seek to enter an order that furthers the child’s best interests. So, if you’re dealing with issues like parental substance abuse, then you’ll want to home in on how exposure to that behavior is harmful to your child.

How exposure to parental substance abuse negatively impacts children

Exposure to parental substance abuse is common, but that doesn’t diminish the impact that it can have on kids. Those children who directly observe their parent’s substance abuse or who witness the results of that substance abuse can be significantly harmed. This includes experiencing the following:

  • An increased risk of being abused or neglected
  • A sense of shame that their parent is addicted to drugs or alcohol
  • Increased anxiety about what will happen to them and their parent
  • Increased depression related to a sense of hopelessness for their parent and their own future
  • A decline in school performance because they’re worried about their parent, are dealing with trauma suffered at the hands of an addicted parent, or are tired because of interactions with their parent
  • Increased behavioral issues due to a sense of lost control and anger at their parent
  • Social isolation due to a sense that no one understands what they’re going through

There are other ways that your child could be negatively impacted by exposure to parental substance abuse, which is why now is the time to act to protect them from it.

Filing a custody modification to protect your child

Seeking a child custody modification is the best way to protect your child from parental substance abuse. To succeed, you’ll need evidence of the exposure to parental substance abuse and how it has negatively impacted your child. So, be thorough in gathering the evidence you need to persuade the court to rule in your favor, and be sure to always keep your child’s best interests in mind when presenting your case.

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