Learning from experience

case studies


A child’s best interest is paramount. When deciding how parents will share parental responsibilities and rights, Courts strive to ensure that a child’s health, safety, and welfare come first. While casual and infrequent use of alcohol may not be a factor, an ongoing addiction to drugs or alcohol can certainly affect a parent’s ability to care for a child.

A history of drug and alcohol abuse can severely affect your case when the Court is tasked with making a decision on the issue of the care and contact of your minor children.

Having a substance abuse issue does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to exercise care and contact with your children, but there can be hurdles that are set up that such person will have to “jump through” to show that the children would be safe in his or her care.

Where one person alleges a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse by the other parent, the Court may order such parent to undergo mandatory drug and alcohol testing. Generally, in cases where the results come back positive, regular testing may be required until that parent shows a history of clean tests.

Where there is an admitted substance abuse issue, the Court may look at what steps such parent has taken to ensure their commitment to sobriety. If the Court determines that a parent is committed to sobriety, then the past use should not affect them in a current care and contact case if they have had an ongoing healthy relationship with their children since then.

Each case is different, and there are a number of factors which have to be considered when dealing the issue of care and contact.

For direct answers to your specific personal questions, please contact us directly.

Read more about our child law services.

Author – Jessica Gooding

More Posts