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My husband smokes marijuana on a daily basis. Should he be barred from being granted custody?

If a parent is addicted to drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, or even a prescription drug such as Oxycontin or Vicodin, he or she will almost surely be barred from custody. Judges consider this to be so serious that often this can be the sole factor in deciding custody. Abuse of alcohol is also considered to be extremely serious and may also cause a parent to lose rights to custody. If the parent is handling their addiction, through a 12-step program or similar procedure, this would be considered by the judge and would most likely deter the judge from automatically barring that parent.

Prior misuse of drugs or alcohol is unlikely to affect a child custody case. If you are the parent with the history of drug use, you should be prepared to demonstrate to the judge’s satisfaction that you have stopped the drug use and that it will not reoccur in the future.

In addition, if the new partner of a parent should be involved with drug or alcohol abuse, this too can affect the parent’s case for custody.

If you believe that your ex-spouse or his or her new partner is involved with drugs or alcohol abuse, you may be able to get a court order for testing.

Often one parent will falsely accuse the other parent of drug use or the abuse of alcohol. If the accusation is deemed to be untruthful, the judge will give serious consideration to granting custody to the falsely accused parent. The bottom line, judges do not like to play games and are not afraid to rule in favor of the falsely accused. False allegations are a severe problem in the family law court system, so they are often dealt with by using severe punishment.