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Changing a custody agreement due to substance abuse

An estranged Michigan parent may become concerned that the other parent is abusing drugs or alcohol. If this is happening when a judge is making a decision about custody and visitation, the parent should take these concerns to the custody hearing along with any relevant documentation. This documentation should not just show evidence of the substance abuse but should also demonstrate that it puts the child in danger. The judge may also consider whether there is a history of substance abuse in making a decision about what custody and visitation arrangement will serve the best interests of the child.

If the parent becomes concerned about the substance abuse after a custody and visitation agreement is already in place, there are a few options depending upon how serious the situation might be. If the child is in danger, the parent may need to seek a restraining order and refuse the other parent visitation.

Once a court becomes aware of the situation, either through a social services report or because a parent is attempting to change the custody agreement due to the substance abuse, it might decide that the addicted parent may only have supervised visitation. This supervision might be done by a family member or social services worker, and it may be required until the parent completes a rehabilitation program.

A parent who is concerned about the other parent's ability to safely care for their child, whether due to substance abuse or for some other reason, might want to consult Oakland County child custody lawyers. In addition to concerns about neglect, abuse or parental abduction, there may be other reasons a child custody agreement must be modified. For example, one parent might be moving out of state or might have a change in employment that conflicts with the visitation schedule.

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