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How a parent's drug or alcohol abuse can affect child custody

Drug and alcohol abuse can have severe consequences for parents in New York, including effecting their relationship with their children. If the parent is going through a divorce or child custody matter it can also affect their ability to have custody of their children. There are a number of factors that are analyzed when determining which parent will have custody, and one of these factors is whether the parent abuses alcohol or drugs. These abuses can also affect how some of the other factors are analyzed as well.

For instance, which parent is the primary caretaker will factor into the custody determination. If a parent is abusing alcohol or drugs, most likely they are not the primary caretaker for the children since they may not be in the right mind to properly care for them. Another factor is the physical health of the parents, and drug and alcohol abuse can cause health problems. Courts also look at the home environment at each parent's home and whether a child is safe in that environment. If there is heavy drug or alcohol use in the home, it could certainly create an unhealthy environment for raising children.

There are many factors that are analyzed when making a child custody determination in New York. Ultimately, the child custody determination will be made based on the best interests of the child. If a parent has a drug or alcohol abuse issue, that parent may be less likely to receive custody. But, there are other factors that are analyzed as well. Experienced attorneys understand how these factors are analyzed and may be able to guide New York residents through these important family law issues.

Source:, "Best Interests of the Child" accessed on Oct. 16, 2017

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