split house, child custody

The Impact of Drug Use on Child Custody in Georgia

Allegations of drug use in a Georgia child custody case can complicate an already difficult situation. Although some states have loosened their prohibitions on drugs like marijuana, drug use allegations can have a big impact on the way courts make child custody decisions in Georgia. Below is an overview of the impact drug use can have on child custody in Georgia. 

A Delicate Balance

In each Georgia child custody case, the court is tasked with determining what is in the best interests of the child. Therefore, when a parent in a child custody case is a drug user or has been accused of using drugs, the court has a tough decision to make. It must balance the effect the parent’s drug use may have on the safety of the child with the child’s right to have a relationship with both of his or her parents. 

How Courts Make Child Custody Decisions in Georgia

A parent’s drug use is just one of the factors the court analyzes when making child custody decisions in Georgia. Generally, the more severe a parent’s drug issue, the greater it will affect the court’s child custody decision. Factors that Georgia courts examine when making child custody decisions include: 

  • The mental health of the parents.
  • The physical health of the parents.
  • The parents’ involvement in their child’s life.
  • The bond between the parents and child.
  • The capacity of each parent to provide the child with necessities.
  • Each parent’s history of caring for the child.
  • The criminal history of each parent.
  • Evidence of substance abuse by either parent.
  • Whether a parent’s drug use has ever placed the child in harm’s way.

Child Custody Cases Involving Parental Drug Use 

The court has several options in child custody cases involving parental drug use. One option that the court has is to award primary physical custody to the non-using parent. In such a case, the other parent would likely have supervised parenting time with a graduated plan to eventually allow for unsupervised parenting time. However, this is just one of many possible outcomes. In order to get a realistic assessment of the possible outcomes in your Georgia child custody case, you should contact a Georgia child custody attorney as soon as possible. 

Contact a Georgia Child Custody Attorney Today

If you need help with a child custody issue involving drug use by either parent, you should contact an experienced Georgia child custody attorney as soon as possible. At Carter Pilgrim, regardless of whether you or your ex are struggling with a drug problem, our experienced child custody attorney will work diligently to ensure that you and your child get the help you need. Attorney Amy Carter has the knowledge and experience necessary to fight for you and your child. Please contact us today for a consultation.