Parenting & Time-Sharing §61.13(3) Part 18 of 19 | Divorce Attorney Fort Myers/Naples

(q) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse.

  1. Does the parent have any record of drug or alcohol abuse? The evidence may be that this is a disease rather than a moral shortcoming. Psychological opinions about the origins of drug or alcohol abuse differ. To the judge, however, a more important question is whether the other parent wants the drug abusing or alcoholic parent to receive treatment so he or she will stop this behavior and become a better parent? Is the nonabusing parent willing to help pay for the abusing parent’s treatment? What is in the children’s best interests? Also, if the accusation of drug or alcohol abuse has no basis, leveling a baseless accusation speaks volumes about the accusing parent’s ability to share the children and to participate in joint parenting decisions.
  2.  Also, is the alcoholic or drug abusing parent willing to do anything about his or her behavior? Will he or she take periodic drug tests? Will he or she enter drug and alcohol abuse programs and complete the course? Proposing nothing may mean the affected parent is unsuitable as a primary residential parent.

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