When addiction factors into parental responsibility

Perhaps one of the reasons that you left your spouse was because of their out-of-control addiction to alcohol and/or drugs. Alternatively, you may be the parent struggling to maintain your parental responsibilities while under the influence of an intoxicating substance.

Can parents who struggle with sobriety still retain their rights to parental responsibility? The family law courts look askance at parents who overindulge in drink or drugs to the point that they are unable to render proper care to their children.

Will going to rehab affect my time with my kids?

There is no doubt that getting sober can only improve your chances of maintaining your parental rights. The other side of the coin is that you will typically need to go through a medical detox and enter an in-patient rehab facility to learn how to cope with life’s stressors without the crutches of alcohol and drugs.

That means that in the short term, your children would need to be cared for by their other parent or another responsible adult. Many addicted parents fear this puts them closer to losing the right to parent their children responsibly. While it is true that the rehab process can separate a parent from their kids initially, consider it a worthy investment of time and effort if the end result is a sober mom or dad.

What will the courts do?

Make no mistake — if you are seriously addicted to drugs or alcohol, you are already in danger of limiting or losing your parental responsibilities for your children. However, being proactive and checking in to a detox and rehab facility sends the clear message that you can and will do better for the sake of your children.

Learning more about the Colorado laws regarding parental responsibility can help you make the best choice for your family.

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