Spilled prescription pillsThis is the first post in a series of articles which address how the use of medications by a parent can impact joint legal custody arrangements in the state of Florida. I feel it is necessary to write on this issue due to the fact that medications, especially those which are prescribed, raise issues which can lead to confusion as to what rights parents have or do not have. The goal of my coming articles is to provide information which will help people to better understand 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 us today to speak with a Melbourne child custody lawyer.

I will be addressing a number of topics over my coming articles. Issues which I will analyze include:

  • Whether a Florida parent can gain joint legal custody while on medication
  • How prescription drug addiction impacts child custody cases
  • Changing child custody (a.k.a. “timeshare”) due to prescription drug abuse
  • Proving that a parent is addicted to prescription medications
  • Attending trial in such a case

There are multiple reasons why I have chosen to address these issues. First, Florida is like many other states in that a high bar must be met for a parent to lose “legal custody,” which differs from “physical custody.” A parent may likely retain legal custodial rights even though their actual time with the child may be limited. Second, it is important to understand that the Court takes addiction issues very seriously. Some parents may err by believing that prescription medications are “no big deal,” but the Court does not see it this way. Third, it is important to understand that there is a process for changing child custody and that you do not take matters into your own hands. Fourth, the discovery process provides tools which allow a parent to prove addiction. Fourth, knowing what to expect from the trial process can help to ensure that things go more smoothly.

One point I will be stressing in each of these articles is the importance of contacting an attorney as soon as possible if you believe that the other parent is addicted to, or is abusing, medications. The sooner you take action then the more likely the Court is to consider the matter an emergency. Conversely, waiting to go to Court can potentially make the Court believe that the situation is not dire. I am a Melbourne child custody lawyer who has substantial experience in handling such matters. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. We also serve the Brevard County 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.