When parents are accused of violence or substance abuse

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Custody |

Accusations of domestic violence or substance abuse can raise concerns about your parental rights. While these are serious issues, being accused does not automatically strip away your rights as a parent. In California, you have the chance to defend yourself and prove that you are a fit and loving parent capable of providing a safe environment for your children.

Domestic violence impact on child custody in California

Judges typically cannot grant custody to a parent with a recent domestic violence record, but might allow visitation. For a parent with a history of domestic violence to gain custody, they must meet specific conditions, including completing intervention and counseling programs, adhering to restraining orders and showing no further violence.

Addressing substance abuse and custody

Courts require proof of habitual and continual substance abuse. Accusations alone are insufficient. The court evaluates testimony credibility and considers the overall context. If substance abuse affects parenting abilities, the court may order supervised visitation, drug testing, treatment programs, attendance at support group meetings or other measures.

Protecting your parental rights

Take accusations seriously, gather evidence and challenge false claims. Cooperate with court orders. Adhere to restraining or protective orders, complete required programs or classes, submit to drug testing and follow visitation schedules. Follow court-ordered interventions, counseling, or education programs. And, attend scheduled visitations, be supportive and respectful, avoid further incidents and seek professional help if needed.

Facing accusations of domestic violence or substance abuse does not automatically jeopardize your parental rights. By taking legal action, cooperating with court orders and demonstrating a commitment to change, you can prove your fitness as a parent and safeguard your relationship with your children.