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How substance abuse can affect child custody

When a Pennsylvania couple with young children chooses to part ways and is having a custody dispute, there are many factors that go into which parent will receive legal custody and what the visitation rights for the other parent will be. One common reason why a parent might not receive custody is if there is substance abuse or other personal problems.

This is often publicized in the case of the breakup of relationships involving celebrities. One such recent case involves Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick. The couple has three children and Mr. Disick has recently been in rehabilitation for substance abuse. The goal for him still might be to gain custody of his children, but it is expected to be a difficult road. However, people who have had these problems are not automatically precluded from gaining custody of children. The same holds true if there are mental disorders, criminal charges, the lack of employment or physical abuse between parents.

Courts will sometimes look at the situation and the relationship between parent and child and overlook other negative occurrences from the past. The parent with these problems will not be denied an opportunity to be granted, at the very least, visitation. There might be conditions involved such as court-ordered supervision and random drug tests. With substance abuse, that could be enough to lead to a decision that the parent is unfit.

The quality of parenting will be examined in context. Failure to keep up with the required financial obligations are looked at negatively by the public, but the courts will not deny a parent the right to see his or her child because of it. A parent who is seeking visitation rights but who has past issues with one or more of these types of problems may want to speak with a family law attorney to determine how best to proceed.

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