In Colorado, allegations of drug abuse by a parent can have devastating consequences for that parent in a child custody dispute. Allegations of lying to the court about drug use will only make things worse. A New York woman found this out the hard way when she lost custody of her children recently.
The 38-year-old mother claimed in testimony that she had started taking antidepressant medications only after her divorce from her ex-husband, a wealthy banker. But the judge said records obtained by subpoena showed she had been taking the drugs since the couple were married in 2006.
The judge also said the woman had obtained prescriptions from 28 different physicians over a six-year span. On some occasions she got prescriptions from two physicians in a single day. According to the judge's ruling, the woman was not truthful about her drug use when she sought treatment at a clinic in 2013, and she failed to complete the treatment.
In Colorado, courts apply the standard of the best interests of the child when deciding child custody. The problem with drug use in custody cases is that it will be seen as posing a danger to the children's safety. Drug abusers spend a great deal of time either looking for drugs or being "out of it" while they are high. A parent who is abusing drugs could potentially pass out, leaving young children essentially unsupervised. If a parent struggling with drug addiction wants even a chance of keeping their kids, they need to get help, get it quickly, take the program seriously and stay clean.
Source: New York Daily News, "EXCLUSIVE: Mom whose post-divorce abortion was used against her in custody battle loses kids over pill popping," Dareh Gregorian, March 21, 2014