This is the first article in a series which will address the overlap of alcoholism and child custody in Melbourne, Florida. I have decided to write on this topic as, for obvious reasons, many parents do not know what steps to immediately take when their counterpart is abusing alcohol. Such situations are, at best, uncomfortable and, at worst, dangerous. The goal of my coming articles is to provide information which will assist parents in better understanding their situation. It is also my goal to provide information which will assist with the selection of a family law attorney. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
I will be addressing a number of topics over the course of this series. The issues which I will be analyzing include:
- When a Court may, or may not, be concerned with a parent’s drinking
- Immediate steps to take if the other parent is drinking too much
- How the Court will respond to incidents of violence which involve alcohol
- The possibility of supervised visitation due to alcoholism
- Defending against claims that you are an alcoholic
There are multiple reasons why I have chosen to address these issues. First, a Judge will be concerned about a parent’s drinking if it is impacting the best interest of the child. If a parent is using alcohol in a socially acceptable manner, and the child is not being endangered, then the Court is unlikely to take action. Second, if a parent’s drinking is causing a danger to the child then the Court may be willing to schedule an emergency hearing. Such hearings can be held quickly – sometimes within a few days. Third, if a parent has engaged in drunken violence then the Court will take the matter quite seriously. Fourth, in addition to instances involving violence, there are other situations which may cause the Court to impose supervised visitation. Finally, and unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one parent to claim that the other is an alcoholic in an effort to gain custody. Defending against such claims is crucial.
One point I cannot stress enough as I move forward with this series is the need to immediately contact an attorney if your son or daughter is in an unsafe situation. The Court takes such matters very seriously and, by retaining counsel who is experienced in such situations, you can help yourself in making the best case possible. I am a Melbourne child custody lawyer who devotes her practice to domestic relations law. I pride myself on providing quality representation and I look forward to speaking with you. We also serve the cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.