Tennessee parents who are struggling with substance abuse and addiction may see their custodial rights impacted until they put their lives back in order. The good news for these parents is that the courts generally want to preserve a child’s relationship with their parents, understanding that the child will benefit.
During addiction, parents may not have unfettered access to their children
While a parent is in the throes of addiction, the court’s desire is to protect the child. There is recognition of the fact that substance abuse could present dangers to the child while around that parent. Thus, the court may take some steps to protect the child and curtail the parent’s visitation rights. A parent may have some time with the child, but it could be in the form of supervised visitation.
The situation can change as the parent changes
Parents should take every step they can to find a treatment program and stick with it, which will show the court that they are doing something to reach sobriety. Whatever the court decides now about custodial time can always be changed in the future. Chances are that it will be changed if that parent does improve themselves. Parents could eventually progress toward regaining greater access to the children. The court does not want to permanently sever the relationship with the child but to protect his or her best interests while the parent tries to overcome their addiction.
If one parent is dealing with an addiction, both parents need their own attorney to resolve the matter and advocate with the court. If you struggled with substance abuse in the past, you would need to persuade the court that you are now able to provide a safe environment for the children.