Gunnstaks Law Office
972-590-6572
800-806-0186
Handling High-Value, High-Conflict Family Law Cases

Contact Our Firm Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Can I modify a custody order if my ex is an addict?

If your ex-spouse's drug or alcohol use contributed to the conflict in your marriage, you likely have concerns about his or her ability to care for the kids when when you are not present. Perhaps this wasn't an issue when you were married because you were always on hand. Now, however, there may be days at a time when your spouse has responsibility for the children.

Seeing evidence that your spouse's substance abuse is getting worse may raise your anxiety. You have a court-issued custody order that requires you to leave the children with your former spouse or face a contempt charge. Do you have another option?

Proving your case to the court

The Texas family courts take alcohol and drug abuse seriously, and they are willing to hear your case if you believe that your spouse is a danger to the children because of his or her substance use. Making the court aware of the situation is the first step. Keeping in mind that courts are reluctant to deny children access to their parents, you will have to assemble evidence that your spouse is unable to care for the children properly or endangers them, for example:

  • Documented history of substance abuse
  • Police reports
  • Testimony from friends and family
  • Social media pictures and posts
  • Emergency room reports
  • DUI or drug arrests
  • Evidence of abuse or neglect of the children
  • Missed child support payments

It is important to know that alcohol or drug use is not the same as abuse, and the court will be looking for convincing evidence that the use of drugs or alcohol creates an unsafe environment for your children and that your former spouse is not fit to parent them.  New evidence that was not in existence at the time of your last final order is required.

Your goals in a custody modification hearing

If the court determines that it would be in the best interests of the child(ren), the court may modify your child custody order to include supervised visitation for your spouse, which means that someone acceptable to the court would have to be present whenever your children spent time with your ex. The order may also require your co-parent to pass a drug or blood alcohol test before having access to the children. These restrictions may be temporary until your spouse faithfully attends substance abuse counseling and can demonstrate a positive change in lifestyle, including the ability to pass drug tests.

Fear for the safety of your children may include seeking a restraining order or requesting that the judge allow no visitation privileges for your spouse. Discussing your goals for modification with an experienced Board-Certified Family Law expert attorney may help you prepare your argument more completely.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Press Release
  • Board Certified | Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb
  • LCA | Litigation Counsel of America | FELLOW Gunnstaks Law Office, Attorneys & Lawyers, Plano, TX 10 Best 2015 Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Family Law Attorneys

Office Location

Gunnstaks Law Office
5601 Granite Parkway, Suite 350
Plano, TX 75024

Phone: 972-590-6572
Phone: 800-806-0186
Fax: 214-619-0636
Plano Law Office Map

Call For Appointment Map