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Drugs and alcohol and child custody

Texas parents who might be undergoing a separation or divorce and are facing child custody issues might be interested in knowing how struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, as well as others such as spousal abuse or lack of child support payment, might affect how custody is awarded. Many parents might think that these types of issues might automatically make it impossible for a parent to receive custody. However, this is not necessarily true.

When the courts look at child custody disputes, the best interest of the child is the most important factor. And courts often see that the best interest of the child involves maintaining a relationship with both parents, as long as both parents are fit. So, issues such as addiction struggles, spousal abuse or even non-payment of support do not necessarily prevent a parent from gaining some sort of custody. However, when making these determinations, courts can decide to issue supervised visitations and court-mandated random drug testing, for example, depending on the parent's past behavior.

While it might be difficult for a parent who has struggled with addiction to receive primary physical custody, particularly if the parent is still in a stage where the addiction struggle is recent, such as just out of rehab, the relationship that each parent had with the child before the divorce will be taken into account. Using past struggles that a parent might have had with their spouse, for example, as a reason to keep them from seeing their child, would be considered punishing the child, and this is what the court aims to avoid.

As long as the best interest of the child is being met, courts will consider making sure that the child continues to have a relationship with both parents, even if the parents do not immediately think that this is appropriate. A parent who is facing such an issue may want to obtain the assistance of a family law attorney in negotiating an agreement that deals with this matter.

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Turner, Bruce E.
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Bruce Turner with Bennett, Weston LaJone & Turner, P.C.

Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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